ST. LEON – On June 13, Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corp. trustees listened to the results of a feasibility study that was completed by Lancer + Beebe LLC, Indianapolis.
"This has been going on for the last 11 months," reported Terry Lancer, a partner at the firm. "We perform the study by sending an architect through each facility. He starts on the exterior, looking at items such as security, parking lots, traffic patterns, athletic facilities, and grades the building on a lot of different aspects.
"Then we have engineers go through, looking at boilers, ventilation systems ... the age of the equipment and when it might need to be replaced."
"We met with maintenance personnel and sat down with staff members in each building because they're there every day. We also gathered information from the administration. We had committee meetings and asked persons their thoughts on all the facilities throughout the district," he revealed.
"Your staff has taken care of your buildings very well ... with a limited amount of funds."
Architect Misha Belyayev presented more specifics: The roofs on all five structures "are in need of replacement. The communication systems are out of date and need some improvements in order to be more secure .... (and) fire alarms across the board, except at North Dearborn Elementary School, are in need of replacement."
East Central High School
Regarding site access, "there are traffic problems with the parking lot getting jammed up ... (and) not enough parking for sporting and Performing Arts Center events.
"The storm drains are sinking, and we need to find out why. There are some issues with the sidewalks and pavement, and there are steps on the east side, but no guard rails.
"The playing fields are not ADA (American With Disabilities Act) accessible. The bleachers at the soccer and football fields need attention. They are not ADA accessible, and there are some safety items that need to be addressed.
"Water is getting behind the masonry in some areas and paint is peeling off. Some exterior doors are rusting and some window seals are leaking."
He added, "What we've heard from the teachers is they would like some ability to connect with the offices at the schools in case of an emergency .... (Also), they say they can't control the temperature in their classrooms. They have also expressed some desire for flexible furniture and digital displays.
"The media center is a nice space, but it's outdated for today's curriculum. The kitchen is undersized .... You have been replacing some of the interior flooring as time goes by, but some is still in need of improvement."
"The main gym bleachers are getting older and could become a safety issue .... The weight room is too small and crowded and presents a safety issue."
"The pool is older and is deteriorating ... (and) chlorine is corroding everything .... Some of the locker rooms do not have enough venting."
"You have a great PAC, but some of the equipment is getting old."
"The maintenance workers don't have a shop or storage space to work on things," Belyayev noted.
Sunman-Dearborn Middle School
"This is a challenging building, a land-locked building."
"The overall organization is not working. It was built for a smaller student population than you have now."
"You have to cross through the cafeteria to get through the building, and deliveries have to go through public corridors, which creates a safety issue."
"The parent dropoff and pickup is mixing with busing, which is a safety issue, and there's not a lot of parking at all."
"This is an older building, and it's starting to get leaks .... There are quite a few issues with ADA, and the restrooms are not compliant. Also, with the different levels, if a student was in a wheelchair and there was a fire, that presents a problem."
"Some of this school's classrooms are spilling over into the high school, which causes some overcrowding."
"The flooring is deteriorating ... (and) ceilings and walls are in need of attention, whether it be repainting or replacing ceiling tiles."
"The cafeteria is very crowded during lunch times, and the kitchen is very small because it originally was just a warming kitchen."
"The stage in the cafeteria is never used, so the staff would like to have it removed to open up more space" in the lunchroom.
"There is no air conditioning in the weight room, so sometimes they have to open exterior doors (to make it cooler), which is a safety issue."
Sunman Elementary School
"The playground equipment is aging ... (and) rubberized surfaces (underneath) would be much better than using mulch.
"Some exterior doors and frames are rusting away. They do not have a dedicated science room and there is no air conditioning in the gym.
"There are too many lockers in that school, and they don't use all of them. They would like to use that space for something else, such as storage. There are also some leaks in the building," the architect pointed out.
North Dearborn Elementary School
"The site access is not safe because there is too much mixing of buses and cars. There is not enough parking for events."
"Some flooring is deteriorating, which could cause tripping hazards."
"This is your newest school, but some restroom renovations are needed (since it was previously an intermediate school) because some fixtures are too high for kids to be able to use."
Bright Elementary School
"The kindergarten playground is very close to the road," Belyayev said.
"This is the only school that has shingles on the roof, and during storms, they fly off."
"There are ADA compliance issues, especially in the restrooms."
"Flooring is a major issue at that school. It's ripping at the seams and creating tripping issues .... They are low on storage areas for this school, and there is no dedicated science room."
At the conclusion of the presentation, Lancer gave each trustee a binder detailing the study, suggestions of how to alleviate the problems and estimated costs.
Diane Raver can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.
• Trustees approved the ECHS Fishing Team, a new corporation-sponsored club.
• The group also OK'd personnel recommendations: new: Louis Sipe, Josie Bonilla, Michael Miller and Andrew Sharf, ECHS teachers; Mary Bauer and Joe Lamb, ECHS summer school teachers; Jill Martin and Juanita Reinshagen, ECHS homebound teachers; Andrea Brown, Rachel Mersmann, Jina Muncy, Mark Wheat and Christie Andres, SDMS summer school teachers; Mary Kate Cunningham, SES part-time job share teacher and Jumpstart instructional assistant; ; Lauren Boesken, SES IREAD summer school teacher; Kristine Daugherty, SES IREAD summer school instructional sssistant; Teresa Bolinger, BES IREAD summer school instructional assistant; Connie Turner, BES IREAD summer school teacher; Abby Ruwe, BES homebound teacher; Melissa Lowe, BES extended school year teacher; Titus Luckhaupt, BES long-term substitute teacher; Stephanie Schomber and Michelle Wheat, SES jumpstart teachers; resignations: Chelsey Thompson, ECHS band director/teacher; Rhonda Murdock, ECHS National Honor Society adviser; Amie Noeth, ECHS homebound teacher; Kevin Tierney, SDMS instructional assistant; Jennifer Meinecke, SES instructional assistant; Rosetta Bennett, SES food service associate; retirement: Judy Wuestefeld, SES food service associate; reduction in staff: Jessica Barber, Erin Estep and Kara Metz, instructional assistants; change in hours from full time to part time: Renee McCann, BES instructional assistant; Mary Kate Cunningham, SES instructional assistant; Monica Balash, SES part-time job share teacher; summer staffing: Daniel Harm and Sydney Leech, information technology; Paul O’Shaughnessy, custodian.