Seymour Community School Corp. isn’t just running out of room for students.
The district, which has an enrollment this year of more than 5,000 for the first time, needs more storage space for records, too.
To solve that problem, the school board approved a plan to add on to the corporation’s central administration office at 1648 S. Walnut St.
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During a meeting Aug. 13, school board members voted 4-3 to accept seven bids for the project and award the work to T and G Construction Co. Inc. of Bedford with the lowest bid of $309,846.
Trustees opposing the project were Jeff Joray, John Kelley and Max Klosterman.
Other bids were $361,600 from Poole Group Inc. of Dillsboro, $390,000 from Bradshaw Building Specialties of North Vernon, $399,600 from Driftwood Builders Inc. of Columbus, $491,800 from Dunlap General and Mechanical Contractors of Columbus, $498,000 from SCS Construction Services Inc. of Greenwood and $610,000 from Bruns-Gutzwiller Inc. of Batesville.
The board had budgeted $175,000 for the project in a previous bond issue. Steve Nauman, district business manager, said additional money from the bond fund and the district’s capital projects fund will be used to make up the nearly $135,000 difference.
“The funding is there without taking away from any other project that we have at this point or we’d have in the future,” he said.
The corporation has worked with T and G Construction on many projects over the years and has been highly satisfied with the end products, said Dave Stark, director of buildings and grounds.
Those projects have included classroom additions at Emerson Elementary and Margaret R. Brown Elementary schools, expansion and renovation work at Cortland Elementary School and renovation of science classrooms at Seymour High School.
Although the district’s financial information is stored electronically, the school corporation is required by the state to keep a paper trail of all records, said Superintendent Brandon Harpe.
Those records are currently stored at the central administration office and in the transportation garage, which is located behind the office building, Harpe said.
“Right now, we have boxes and file cabinets just sitting in the hallways out here,” he said. “We need to address our growth at the administration office, and we’ve been putting it off.”
The project will include a 2,100-square-foot addition, which includes a warehouse for records storage and a new meeting room.
Construction is scheduled to begin in September and be completed by January 2020. Stark said a separate project will add 33 new parking spaces. All Star Paving of Seymour will complete that work, Stark said.
Harpe doesn’t want the community to get the impression the district is putting the project as a priority over classroom space, though.
“We’re not getting fancy new offices,” Harpe said.
Board vice president Nancy Franke said the issue of records storage is a “justified concern,” but the public’s perception of the project also is important.
She said the board is currently working on its strategic plan, which includes solutions for the school system’s growth and crowding issues.
“These funds can’t be used to address student growth,” she said of the money being earmarked for the administrative office expansion.