Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Discovery Charter School to bond for new projects

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Discovery Charter School board took the first step toward a new bonding process to fund building and maintenance projects.

On Wednesday, board members signed off on an inducement resolution which would allow them to go forward with projects that would be paid for with bond proceeds.

Board President Laurie Metz said the board is also interested in refinancing the bonds for the school building and the proceeds will go towards the construction of a new building to hold additional classrooms and a gymnasium.

The resolution is also a move forward for Discovery to break off from its current loan from Charter Schools Development Corporation, a Maryland-based 501c3 organization that helps new charter schools finance and develop strategies to become creditworthy on their own. The board is also working with an Indianapolis firm to aid them in decisions regarding financing.

“We want to become financially independent,” board member Janine Girzadas told the Chesterton Tribune.

Metz said the new building is part of Discovery’s current five-year plan.

But there are more immediate needs that Discovery hopes to take care of by next school year. Those include designing and installing a 28’ x 72’ modular building for additional classroom space, with an emphasis on technology education.

The school has already received bids for the project which should be completed by July, according to Discovery principal Ernesto Martinez.

Another need is to increase the size of the school’s cafeteria. Girzadas said the addition will be approximately 3,500 square feet, which will require excavation since the cafeteria is underground.

Martinez said the extra space could allow the cafeteria to serve more functions, such as a temporary gymnasium or assembly space.

Make Up Days

Martinez reported that Discovery has missed six days due to snow and cold over the past two months.

Two of those days were excused by the Department of Education as were schools throughout the state. Two more days will be made up during the school year and one day has been added to the end of the 2013-14 calendar.

He said one day will be made up by holding school all day on three Wednesdays, when students usually go home for early dismissal. Those Wednesdays will be March 12, April 2 and April 9, he said.

Martinez also reported that ISTEP+ testing will be pushed back a week from March 3 to March 10.

In other business, Girzadas announced that the spring event for the Parents Advisory Council will be April 26. Invitations will be mailed out in the next few weeks, she said. The board gave its consent for PAC to hold a raffle during the event.

Lottery

Discovery officials held its annual kindergarten lottery before the board meeting. Envelopes were drawn at random by a third party which saw 60 accepted into Kindergarten next fall. There were 32 names already admitted prior to the lottery because they have a sibling already attending Discovery.

At the end, there were 37 on the kindergarten waiting list, the same number as last year.

Metz told wait list parents not to be discouraged as there are typically withdrawals as parents find they cannot commit the time to transport their child to school.

Families are given five business days to enroll their child or face being put on the wait list.

Martinez said the wait list across all grades is 267.

 

Posted 2/27/2014