Community Provides Input For Valley’s Building Project

Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation Superintendent Blaine Conley hands off the microphone to facilitators of small group discussions during the community input meeting for TVSC’s 2022 building project Thursday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.

Community members and students were able to provide input on what building projects Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation will focus on during its 2023 project at a community input meeting Thursday.

The meeting was to help TVSC implement a plan to address the facility needs for the high school campus, Superintendent Blaine Conley said.

“Based on the fact we’re retiring debt that was sold in the forms of bonds back in 2013 from the renovations of the high school, the school board asked the architectural firm Fanning Howey to develop options to address the needs on this campus. We are approaching the time where the school board must make a decision of how to proceed. In order to make the best decision possible, it’s important for the community to be well informed and give feedback,” Conley said.

Later in the spring, Conley said it’s anticipated the school board will hold a project preliminary determination hearing, or at 1028 hearing, to adopt a project resolution. The project can go forward, if all goes well with the hearing, Conley said.

William E. Payne, chief executive officer of Fanning Howey, said members of Fanning Howey took a tour of the high school building and campus and talked to TVSC administrators about the perceived needs of the campus. They put together “highly-conceptual plans.” Payne said it will be unlikely TVSC will be able to accomplish all the options in the plan Fanning Howe put together.

Michael K. Schipp, project manager for Fanning Howey, went over the plan his company designed.

Schipp said some of the challenges TVSC has is the high school has no auditorium or pool seating. Other things like the size of the weight room and field house were considered challenges.

Some of the options TVSC could focus on in their building project included building a 650-plus-seat auditorium, as well as adding pool seating, Schipp said. Other projects he reviewed included adding a café shop and a wrestling and multipurpose room that could hold two full-length wrestling mats.

Adding new parking or resealing the current parking lot were presented by Schipp. Other projects, such as adding new tennis courts, were discussed.

Brock J. Bowsher, director of Baker Tilly, discussed the financial side of the project.

One of the things Bowsher went over was the tax rate. The tax rate is a statement in dollars, expressed per each $100 of assessed value, which is the total value to all real property improvements subject to taxation.

The building project will not affect the tax rate due to debts TVSC has start “falling off” in 2023 as bonds the school corporation is paying on are starting to mature, Bowsher said. It presents a good opportunity for the school corporation to look into issuing bonds starting in 2023 to fit in with other existing debt to maintain the tax rate for the taxpayers.

Bowsher said the only way school corporations can raise money for building projects like TVSC is looking to do is through bonds. He stated TVSC has issued first mortgage, or lease rental, bonds in the past. First mortgage bonds are municipal bonds secured by lease payments made by party leasing the facilities that were financed by the bond.

Conley said the bond amount has not been determined at this point.

After presentations from representatives from Fannie Howey and Baker Tilly, attendees broke up into small groups, led by members of the school corporation, so TVSC could get input on such things as what the priorities should be for the building project.

There will be a second community input meeting at 6 p.m. in the Tippecanoe Valley High School commons.

To share input on the building project, Conley said community members and students can e-mail their input to