Financial pieces put in place for elementary project in Brownstown


BROWNSTOWN — Some of the financial pieces have been put in place for a project at Brownstown Elementary School that includes the construction of a gymnasium and replacement of the HVAC system in 2024.

On Monday night at the administration office, the board of school trustees unanimously approved an additional appropriation not to exceed $16.81 million for the project, which includes site improvements and the purchase of equipment and technology. The project will be paid for through a bond issue.

The board also approved a 22-year lease agreement between Brownstown Central Community School Corp. and Brownstown District School Building Corp., which calls for the school corporation to rent the building during the project in exchange for two annual payments of $1,020,000 until the construction is complete or June 30, 2023, whichever is later, and then a maximum annual payment of $2,040,000 during the term of the lease.

Because Indiana school corporations cannot borrow money for buildings, a building corporation must be put in place and will own the building until the lease is repaid.

The drawings, plans and specifications, including the estimates of cost for the renovation and construction and a copy of the lease, are available during business hours at the school corporation’s administration building, 608 W. Commerce St., Brownstown.

In another matter, trustees OK’d emergency allocations totaling $9,204.52 in August. They include $4,344.52 to Harrell-Fish Inc. of Bedford for HVAC repairs at the elementary school and water line repairs at the high school; $725 to Burch’s Sewer and Drain Cleaning LLC of Brownstown for sewer line repairs at the high school; $2,370 to I-STAR for pipe installation at the middle and high schools; and $1,765 to Kenny Glass of Seymour for door repairs at the elementary and high schools.

Assistant Superintendent Jade Peters said the emergency allocations balance after the payments was $22,607.09.

In an unrelated matter, the board approved the resignations or terminations of Shelly Spurlock, an elementary school special needs aide; Jeanette Kendall, the high school yearbook sponsor; Tonia Gard, an elementary school night custodian; and Michael Boshears and Clayton Barger, sixth grade boys basketball coaches.

New hires approved by trustees include Emily Allman, high school yearbook sponsor; Alyssa Bowers, elementary school special needs aide; Bradley Edwards, a volunteer sixth grade boys cross country coach; Kyle McCrary, sixth grade boys basketball coach; Tyler Knott, an elementary school night custodian; Judy Doyle, custodian for the administration building and bus garage; and Matt Rotert, third and fourth grade boys basketball coach.

The retirements of Jeff Stice, a daytime custodian at the high school; Craig Reynolds, a nighttime custodian at the middle school; and Patsy Hess, corporation treasurer, also were approved.

Emily Engelking and Michelle Kleber with Jackson County United Way gave a presentation about the organization’s Rock’n Ready program, which provides students in kindergarten through 12th grade with school supplies.

Engelking said the program, which JCUW has been involved with for 11 or 12 years, had a huge year.

She said the program served 204 students in the Brownstown area, up from 195 in 2022.

Overall, a little more than 1,600 kids attending Jackson County schools were served this year, up about 200 from 2022.

“There is definitely a need, and we see that,” Engelking said. “We had a 33% increase overall in kids registered and served. A massive, massive increase.”

Kleber talked about the distribution at Brownstown Elementary School.

“It was well organized,” she said. “The teachers and volunteers had it set up. It was chaos for two hours, but it was smooth-running chaos.”

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