Community input needed for Lewis Cass's $15 million project

Kristi Hileman, Pharos-Tribune, Logansport, Ind.
·2 min read

Apr. 15—WALTON — Lewis Cass Schools is expected to undergo major redevelopment in the near future.

Approved at Wednesday's board meeting, the school corporation will soon publish a Notice of Preliminary Determination and Project Hearing. The cost of the development is not to exceed $15.7 million.

And at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13, a public hearing will be held to inform the community of the future plans and answer any questions. The gathering will be held in the Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School auditorium.

Superintendent Dr. Tim Garland said of the multi-million dollar project that "we're not willing to cut corners, but we need to do this."

Based upon recommendation from a 20-person committee of local residents, teachers, administrators, and student council representatives, which has been in discussion since January, the corporation would need to update its HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, fire alarm system, and football stadium.

Other improvements would include a new roof for the high school, extra classrooms for the elementary, and renovation of the elementary gymnasium. For the stadium, new locker rooms and a new concession stand would be on the agenda.

"We want community input so we are sure to meet the needs of the students, academics, and safety," Dr. Garland previously said as he explained that the corporation tries to schedule a new bond every five years. Once a previous one falls off, it is replaced with a new one.

Public buy-in is necessary due to the high cost of operating a school system, he had stated. Plus, it's one way to ensure the corporation can obtain up-to-date facilities.

Therefore, this new bond would result in a slight increase in property taxes for residents within the school district.

A second public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 20, also in the high school auditorium.

In other business:

Out of 40 applicants and 13 interviews, the school corporation has selected six new elementary teachers, starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

They include TJ and Katie Miley, Brittany Bertrand, Bridget Reed, Kari Johnson, and Olivia Collins. The Mileys hail from Maconaquah, where TJ has 6 years of experience and Katie has 8 years. Bertrand and Collins will be first-year teachers. Reed will join the elementary after working within the Kokomo school system for 12 years and Johnson has amassed 20 years of experience. She will be leaving Winamac Middle School.

Reach Kristi Hileman at kristi.hileman@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5150