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January 15, 2013

NA-FC examines school building projects

Board may consider referendum in 2014

NEW ALBANY — Studies of three schools in the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. will examine whether they need remodeling or outright rebuilding after a vote from the district’s board of trustees Tuesday night.

Brad Snyder, deputy superintendent, said the studies would take a close look at three schools — Slate Run Elementary, Green Valley Elementary and Prosser Career Education Center — after a facility study identified them as the buildings with the most need for improvement last summer. 

He said after architectural firms spent several months in those buildings, they’d draw up plans for renovated or rebuilt facilities and possibly work with the district to put together a referendum vote for taxpayers to voluntarily raise their taxes to pay for the projects.

“To a certain degree, this whole conversation’s game has changed in that perhaps, once upon a time, this type of decision really did pivot off of architectural or engineering services,” Snyder said. “But more and more, this really pivots off of one thing and that’s a successful referendum. Because if this does not pass a referendum, everyone loses.”

The district would use Schmidt and Associates, the Indianapolis-based architectural firm that performed the facility study, to handle the studies at the elementary schools. An Evansville-based firm, VPS Architecture, will perform the study for Prosser, Snyder said.

The administration recommended the firms because the district has worked with them before, but they’ve also got a lot of experience with referendums, should the board decide they want to move in that direction, Snyder said.

“We believe this recommendation is a strong one and it puts you in a very strong position to have the best team around you to carry the day on November [20]14 if you choose to go that far,” Snyder said.

The board approved the studies unanimously.

The board also swore in new members Jessica Knable and George Gauntt, along with incumbent Rebecca Gardenour.

During their reorganization, D.J. Hines was elected board president, with Roger Whaley becoming board vice president and Jan Anderson as board secretary.

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