Some questions presented to the South Madison Community School Corp. (HB 1/30/14) have been answered, but more have surfaced.
There is a debt of $94,697,123 at $20,890.61 per student. Eighty-eight acres, for new middle school, were purchased at $27,000 per acre. Before 88-acre purchase, 80 acres purchased at $14,000 per acre, but not used.
Three superintendents have been released between 2001-2011, information on contract settlement is kept secret.
Feb. 20, 2014, School Board meeting presented a report by STAIR Associates. Plans were shown to add two classrooms, storage room, resource room, and hallway to the existing Intermediate School, along with 30 new parking spaces, all, after demolition of the 1936 high school. Chris Boots’ suggestion to add more classrooms to the plan was discarded. This is Phase 2 of the Intermediate School Project, which will begin June 2014.
Testimony at the Aug. 20, 2013, Pendleton Historic Preservation Commission meeting contradicts the above plans. When asked what will happen to site if demolition of the high school is allowed. “SMCSC has no plans at this time, due to the delay,” refer to resolutions from 7/11/13. (Quote from HPC, 8/20/13 minutes).
As taxpayers, we are impressed with Chuck Brembury, school superintendent, Peru (HB, 1/27/14) who displays strategic visionary thinking. His suggestion: schools laden with debt abandon big ticket items and use current resources.
Our suggestion: sell the “Taj Mahal” Administration Building, and return it to the tax rolls, use the 1936 high school for the administration and needed classrooms, and accept the offer of donated land, by Town of Pendleton, for bus parking.
James Butler, Linda Castor, Kevin Kenyon, Becki Lowe, Helen Reske