Greencastle Schools move forward with new facility
At its monthly board meeting, this time held at Tzouanakis Intermediate, the Greencastle School Corporation decided Monday to move forward with its plans for a new transportation building.
Multiple options have been considered throughout the year, including the construction of a new facility, renovating older facilities and purchasing property to leave room for expansion.
Superintendent Dawn Puckett explained why an updated facility, at least, is crucial and cited several problems that not only make the current site difficult to manage, but also very difficult in which to work.
"One of our key goals here is to be fiscally responsible," Puckett said. "We are able to do this -- provide a well-located, efficient and safe transportation facility -- we can do that without incurring any negative impact on the tax rate. Our next step is to make arrangements and everything has to fall in place before we can move on.
"We would like to give the community the opportunity to see the plans and give us feedback," Puckett continued. "It's 30 acres in an 'L' shape around the outside of the (Woods Edge) subdivision, so we want to give them the opportunity ... for a community meeting for those residents."
Criteria laid out by multiple architects and engineers dictate that, if purchasing property, the land would need to be at least six acres in size, be located within city limits, have ease of access with minimal railroad effect and contain an operations center and wash bay. The 30-acre plot located by The Woods Edge subdivision, according to the board, is the best choice.
Problems within the current facility, located along the narrow streets around Vine Street, were cited as well.
They include, but aren't limited to: buses are becoming longer than the facility itself; there is no "mechanic's area" in which workers can repair the buses, so a make-shift pit has been used for quite some time by placing the buses over the opening; the pit in which mechanics work fills up with water when it rains, creating an obvious hazard when using electrical tools; and the streets around the Vine Street location are filled with traffic during the busiest times.
The next step for the board is to submit an appeal to the Greencastle Zoning Board, as the current area is considered residential.
Updated plans, as well as a date for a community meeting, will be provided at next month's board meeting on Dec. 21.
In other business:
* Approvals were requested and given to officially receive the following donations from various organizations: $675 to GMS from the Putnam County Community Foundation in the form of a bass clarinet; $744 from the Greencastle Football Parents Club to the GHS Athletic Department to be used for miscellaneous football equipment; $1,949.90 from the 2015 Post Prom Committee to the GHS 2016 graduating class to be used for caps, gowns and other graduation accessories; $750 from the Walmart Distribution Center and $500 from Walmart Store to Deer Meadow Primary to purchase T-shirts for the recent "50 Nights of Reading" challenge; and $1,500 from Stacie Stoffregen, C.J. Shields and Erin Blaydes ($500 each) to the Greencastle Middle School science department. A digital camera kit with lenses, a bag and an SD card were also approved as a donation from the Huber Foundation for the Arts to the GHS Art Department, valued at $660.94.
* An approval for GHS student Yuji Mozawa to graduate early was received. Mozawa will graduate in December of 2016 before attending a university in Japan beginning in spring of 2017.
* Approval was received to receive federal grants titled "Title I, Title II, Title III and NESP." These federal grants amount to $267,795.55.
* The 2015-16 school calender revisions, which were changed in order to better align Greencastle School Corporation vacation times with DePauw University, were discussed and approved.
* Approval of revisions to Administrator's Evaluation and Compensation Plan was given.
* Several hirings, resignations and reassignments were approved Monday: Laura Brentlinger, FMLA effective Nov. 2, 2015 to April 1, 2016; Lara Inlow-Shields, temporary teacher for Brentlinger at Deer Meadow Primary effective Nov. 2, 2015 to April 1, 2016; Claudia Schlagenhauf, hired as temporary substitute teacher for Kim Brattain (unpaid leave of absence) at GMS effective Oct. 19 to Dec. 18; Michelle Hendershot, FMLA effective for 2015-16 school year; Megan Smith, FMLA effective March 28 to June 3, 2016; Shawna Gordon, hired as temporary teacher for Kieran Clapp (FMLA) effective Jan. 5 to March 11, 2016; Tracey Knuckles, medical leave effective Nov. 21, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016; Martha Scott, hired as temporary noon aide for Sandra Clay (leave of absence) effective Nov. 2, 2015 to Jan. 5, 2016; Pamela Hutson, hired as instructional assistant effective immediately; Stephanie Hudson, transfer 10 of 29 hours a week to Title I Instructional Assistant effective immediately); Lisa Torrence, transfer 15 of 29 hours a week to Title I instructional assistant effective immediately; Linda Steele, hired as substitute cafeteria assistant effective immediately; Judy Thacker, hired as substitute cafeteria assistant effective immediately; Laura Lukenbill, hired as substitute cafeteria assistant effective immediately; Tabatha Allen, hired as substitute cafeteria assistant effective immediately, Janice Hammond, hired as substitute teacher effective immediately; Rebbeccah Snow, hired as substitute teacher; Alexandria Fleming, hired as substitute teacher effective immediately; Krista Gardner, hired as substitute teacher effective immediately; Tim Tesmer, hired as substitute teacher effective immediately; Diana Divine, approved as winter athletics events manager, effective immediately; Craig Whitaker, hire as boys' freshman basketball coach at GHS, effective for 2015-16 school year.