The Chesterton High
School Building Trades program’s next project will be building an outside
classroom and a manufactured home without having to leave school property.
three-year master plan to the Duneland School Board at its meeting Monday,
program instructor Tom Garzella told the school board the Trades Program
committee was looking for ways to lower costs and man-hours for transporting
students and materials to a job site.
“The model that
came out of that is to build a manufactured home,” Garzella said. “When we
are looking at a program on the overall costs, everything that has to go
along with construction, this model seemed to fit what we could do
The Duneland Group
land surveying company would partner to do the state permitting for the
manufactured home and the self-certification. Housing Opportunities, of
Valparaiso, would be the buyer and provide capital funds for the project.
Based on feedback
from suppliers, the total construction cost would be about $44,000, Garzella
A site location for
the two halves would be a small portion of the CHS practice soccer field,
and function as a temporary outdoor classroom. A Conex container would sit
there as well. Garzella said he would like to screen the fencing and gates.
The houses would
eventually be moved to a location in Michigan City with the first one to be
done in a year, Garzella said.
The program is
expanding with thirteen students currently and over 40 signed up for next
school year, he said.
back. We’re trying to do the right thing. Trying to create a right
environment so the students can learn,” Garzella said.
Board member Ron
Stone said if the home is built on school property, it will likely get more
kids interested in wanting to be in the class the following school year.
Board member John
Marshall commented that the building trades program “is really exciting” and
the board has wanted to see it expand.
Garzella if any parking spaces would be lost at CHS. Garzella said none
during the school year andhe has been in communication with the department
heads so they know the plans.
Director of Support
Services Greg Lindy said the site for the home would be out of the way and
would cause the least conflict.
“It will be a
construction site. We will try to keep it neat but it will be a construction
site,” Lindy said.
advisory board members present were President Paul Shinn, Secretary Bonnie
Gaston, Kent Mishler and John Jandura, as well as Porter County Career and
Technical Center Director Jon Groth. Other members include Vice-President
Greg Babcock and Kevin Comerford.
Garzella said the
board is looking forward to updating its current curriculum standards for
the next school year, working with Ivy Tech. Another goal is to get those
who have been in the program as seniors to build partnerships and find work
with local contractors and sub-contractors while getting school credit.
A public hearing
was held by the board on a $695,000 appropriation of rainy day funds to be
used for building and improvements. The amount, as explained by Duneland
Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz, is a one-time expenditure to keep the
Chesterton Middle School pool maintained in a safe environment.
No one from the
public spoke and the board approved the resolution to appropriate with a 5-0
include reconfiguring the air-handling system for the pool area as well as
improvements to the locker rooms, lighting, wall paint and ceiling.
The board last
month approved a base bid from Chicago Heights Construction Company to work
strictly on the pool area. The rest of the work, which will also be paid
from the $695,000 appropriation, will be done by staff in-house, said Lindy.
In other business,
the School Board approved 5-0 the proposed instructional fees for the
upcoming school year, submitted by Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
The fees, which are
charged at registration, go to pay for student handbooks, arts and craft
supplies for elementary. The instructional fees per elementary are $27.50.
At the intermediate
schools, the fees will cover course materials. The fees there will be
The fees at the
middle school and high school will vary depending on what courses the
Goetz said there
are no significant changes in the proposed fees compared to this year.
Changes and updates
to the student handbooks were also approved 5-0 by the board. One comment
made was by Board President Kristin Kroeger who said she disagrees with
having a policy that personal communication devices -- e.g. cell phones,
tablets -- be turned off on school buses while they are traveling to and
from school since it’s difficult for school bus drivers to monitor it.
enforceability of it. Why have a policy that you can’t enforce and you are
not enforcing?” she said.
Lindy said that if
a bus driver sees a student using such a device, they are asked to put them