School board views expansion plans

By Margaret Lemke
Staff Writer

By Margaret Lemke

Staff Writer

With a desire to eliminate leasing space and an anticipated increase in enrollment for the youngest grades, District 108 School Board members and architect Paul Youngquist discussed a plan to add classrooms and office space at Central Elementary School at the board meeting on Monday, June 25.

While the board received a preliminary sketch of the plans a few months ago, Youngquist told the board that planning for future expansion should be a part of the plan. He said building to the current needs might not last for many years.

The board began considering the addition earlier this year after discussing the almost $80,000 the district pays to lease space for preschool, Early Childhood Family Education, Kids Company childcare and office space for these programs.

Based on preliminary calculations, Superintendent Brian Corlett estimated that a bond issue to fund the addition would not increase taxes for most taxpayers in the district and would have a 10-15 year term instead of the ongoing cost to lease space. For example a home valued at $175,000 is currently assessed $18 a year for the lease and would pay the same if a $1.6 million bond were approved.

While discussing the issue, several new ideas, not part of the original sketch, were presented including adding a music area (currently the music room is directly behind the gymnasium), and improving parking and bus loading sites.

Board members decided to proceed with the plan and have Youngquist prepare a new sketch with the additions.

Corlett added that next spring (2013) would be the earliest the district could hold a referendum on the building expansion.

During the comments portion of the board meeting, members of the family of Central Senior Andrew Mulville addressed the board. Jen and Ryan Withrow expressed their disappointment that Mulville was not recognized at graduation.

Mulville was killed in March when he was struck by a semi on Highway 212. The Withrows said that students who commit suicide are not treated the same by Central schools as students who die in other types of accidents. They felt this practice is against the district’s mission statement.

Board chairman Elroy Latzig thanked the Withrows for their comments, but said the board’s policy is not to public discuss items presented during comment by visitors.

In other business the board: