WCS OKs $8 Million Bond For Various Improvements

(photo supplied / Warsaw Community Schools)

The Warsaw Community School Board approved a resolution to apply for $8 million in general obligation bonds.

Potential projects to be funded by the bonds are chillers for Harrison and Eisenhower elementary schools,  outside paneling on the Career Center, individual HVAC units and room renovations at Warsaw High School, technology and security upgrades throughout the district and a maintenance/food service/storage building.

Dr. David Hoffert, superintendent of the Warsaw Community Schools District, said the current chillers at Harrison and Eisenhower, as well as the ventilators at the high school, are all approximately 30 years old.

Other things the school district is looking to do is possibly close the Gateway building, said April Fitterling, chief finance officer for the school district.

It is projected to take $10 million to keep the building open, but if the building is closed, it will save the district approximately $125,000 in energy costs a year.

Also on the possible chopping block is the end of the lease of maintenance storage, which will save the district $1,400 per month, Fitterling said. The district is also looking at closing the maintenance building on Market Street, which will save the district an estimated $50,000 a year.

One of the questions Hoffert addressed was that of taxes.

“Our goal is to keep taxes as neutral as possible,” he said. He also said the district will spread out the needed projects over time as “tax rate management is a critical component for the best interest of our community. Spreading the projects out provides a consistent tax rate.”

Tracey Akers, nurse coordinator for the district, provided input on how having a nursing staff affects the school district.

The five ways school nurses benefit the school district are through attendance, academics, time, staff wellness and accountability, Akers said.

The nurses do a lot of disease prevention and management of health issues, so they help keep students in school, she said. “Because we keep the students healthy, they are in the classroom, ready to learn.”

School nurses are time savers for the school, saving the principal an hour a day, teachers 20 minutes a day and secretaries 45 minutes a day, she said.

School nurses also try to work on staff wellness competitions to help the staff keep healthy, she said, adding that they always have to be in federal compliance and look after the students’ health and needs.

Some of the things school nurses are responsible for are compliance with immunization requirements and look for signs of physical abuse and neglect, she said.

“I would like to thank the school board for ensuring that there is a school nurse –  an RN – in every school,” Akers said.

In other business, the school board also:

• Acknowledged five winners of the Warsaw Community Schools Board Scholarship. The scholarship goes to employees who want to further their education. The winners were David Burden, WCS STEM instructional coach; Brad Gutwein, technology manager at Warsaw Community Schools; Crystal Kreider, fifth grade teacher at Leesburg Elementary School; Chantel Sorensen, spanish teacher at the high school; and Leah Spruger, chemistry and A.P. biology teacher at the high school.

• Acknowledged a $150,000 STEM grant from Zimmer Biomet to the school corporation.