May 18, 2021

Terrades Delmoli

Experienced In Home Improvment

Residents largely favor $168 million Duneland schools improvement plan; board votes to move forward | Education

1 min read

Resident Tracey Dibble urged the board to include teachers, especially those in grades 5-8, in the design process from the onset.

“I think it’s a minimal increase, and I wouldn’t want to slow us down,” she said.

The spending plan is expected to cost $81.63 to $141.11 a year for the median home valued at $190,400.

Resident Joan Sosby, a former teacher, said it makes sense to launch the campaign to coincide with the bonds from Chesterton High School being paid off. That makes the debt not onerous, she said.

It also means other units of local government can’t absorb that debt capacity, resident Toni Downing said. “The way the Indiana tax code is written, you use it or you lose it,” she said.

When Chesterton High School was built, the school district communicated the project needs and details more effectively to the public, Sosby said.

Others echoed that observation.

Attendees at the public hearing were offered a handout with frequently asked questions about the project.

Improvements include building a new Yost Elementary School. Renovating the school would be 85% of the cost of a new building, Assistant Superintendent Robert McDermott said

The plan also calls for creating two middle schools that would incorporate grades 5-8, using the existing Liberty and Westchester intermediate schools. Those would become “a school within a school,” with students in grades 5 and 6 separated from those in grades 7 and 8, McDermott said.