School districts participating in the Area 30 Career Center may soon begin looking for a new location to build their own facility.
And the Greencastle School Board is interested in that possibility if it means no new taxes for local property owners.
Supt. Robert Green explained Wednesday that the seven superintendents who participate in the Area 30 educational cooperative are now asking their boards if they would rather sign a new seven-year lease to keep Area 30 at its current site in the F.B. Distro building, or if they would like to build their own facility.
Greencastle now pays $545,000 per year for its share of the F.B. Distro facility.
That amount is enough to make an annual loan payment on a new building. But since the Area 30 governing board has no taxing authority to take on its own building project, each participating school district must agree to the project.
The consensus of the other superintendents, Green said, is to begin planning for a new building, and in the meantime, to negotiate a shorter lease for the current Area 30 space.
"The others felt that if it didn't cost them any more than what they are paying, then it makes sense," Green said of the governing superintendents.
The first step would be to set aside some funds to do a feasibility study.
Since Area 30 needs about 68,000 square feet, there is no other space now available that would fit the educational needs, Green said. He noted that the Old National Trail Special Services Cooperative is also looking for additional space, about 38,000 square feet, so there is the possibility that those two groups could be combined. The ONT offices are currently housed in the Miller Education Center in Greencastle.
School board president Jack Berry said he agrees that if such an Area 30 building project would be revenue neutral for the taxpayers, it would be a good move. The board took no action on the information.