Happy to be in the middle
File Photo

Some finalizing touches come to a Warrick County School Corporation project in the works for the majority of the last decade.

The Warrick County School Corporation School Board voted to designate new names and grade configurations for the schools involved in a reorganization of Tecumseh Junior-Senior High School. The board decided that Elberfeld and Lynnville elementary schools will house grades kindergarden through fifth grades, Tecumseh Junior-Senior High School will be renamed Tecumseh High School and will house ninth through twelfth grades, while a new school designation will be made for Tecumseh Middle School to house sixth through eighth grades.

Superintendent Brad Schneider said the Tecumseh reorganization was part of the original proposal set into motion eight years ago to move to middle schools across the corporation, however, budget cuts and multitudes of capital projects monies going to roof repair and other issues across the district caused the project to be put on hold. He said the district is happy to be finally making the full change in Tecumseh.

“I’m really pleased to get the middle school at Tecumseh underway,” he said.

While the final step will be a different situation than the other middle schools in the district, Schneider said he looks forward to academic improvement in Tecumseh. He said the low class sizes don’t require a new building but the middle school will reside on a different floor of the building and will be completely separate from the high school.

“They will have to share staff and the building but the two schools will be separated as much as we possibly can,” Schneider said. “We designed the building in the manner we did to provide as much separation as we could.”

Schneider said the shift to give separate designations to the middle and high school will allow testing scores to be calculated differently. He said this will help give a focus to the specific issues in both the middle and high school instead of viewing the combined results of the students.

“The middle school concept gives students opportunities they didn’t have,” he said. “Being your own school will bring more of a focus on the middle school. Hopefully we’ll see a bump in academic performance.”

In addition, the board also approved bids to complete renovations at Newburgh Elementary School. Schneider said the renovations will include HVAC upgrades including work on the heating and air conditioning at the school as well as a few classroom renovations.

“Some of the units are old and not functioning efficiently,” he said.

In a previous meeting, the board denied all bids to the project. Schneider said the original proposal for the project was unclear and lead to bids that included more work than necessary and, in turn, were severely over budget.

“We rebid that project,” he said.

In total, the winning bid awarded to Arc Construction of Evansville for $444,280, which Schneider said is $200,000 less than the original bids.

Board member Thomas Welch, who is also a member of the Construction Committee, said it’s thanks to the hard work of the committee to step in and clarify the issue to save the corporation a hefty sum of money while still keeping the project on time.

“We go over all these bids,” Welch said. “I would like to compliment... the people who really worked on these projects and knew that this one was over budget and asked us to stop it.”

In other business, the board also approved bids for technology infrastructure upgrades totalling $1,466,595.78, approved summer school teachers and administrators, approved the naming of the Boonville High School volleyball floor “Mary Cox Court” and set the deadline for non-resident transfer requests as July 22, 2016.

Wyatt Squires is a staff writer for The Standard. Before coming to Warrick, Wyatt has worked as a reporter in Jackson, Greene and Knox counties in Indiana.

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