Chesterton Tribune



School Board splits 4-1 to sell land to Chesterton for trail

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The Duneland School Board will grant the sale of a strip of land along County Road 1100 North, on the north side of Chesterton High School, to the Town of Chesterton for the Westchester-Liberty Trail.

The board voted 4-1 to sell the land strip to the Town at its appraised value of $34,600. Dissenting was board member Brandon Kroft, while voting in favor were members John Marshall, Ronald Stone, Mike Trout, and President Kristin Kroeger.

Board attorney Chuck Parkinson, whose firm also represents the Town of Chesterton, said the Town is the developing trail as a project with the Indiana Department of Transportation. The Westchester-Liberty Trail has been in the works for years, proposing to connect Dogwood Park with Tamarack Subdivision and properties several hundred feet west of CR 100 E. When done, it is to have connections to other trails.

The first phase will be done with sidewalks on the north side of CR 1100 N from Dogwood Park to 11th Street. Then the trail will move to the south side of the road along the high school property for its second phase to the corner of 5th Street where the Duneland Boys and Girls Club is located.

Stone said he hopes the project can get started soon as there have been students driving in where the trail would be and sidewalks will help prevent that.

“It’s been a hot topic for some time,” he said.

Kroft after the meeting did not give further comment about his vote.

2017 facility projects

Also Monday, the board voted unanimously on the authorization to advertise for bids on several facility projects lined up for 2017.

Director of Support Services Greg Lindy said getting the bids in now will “get ahead of schedule a bit so (staff) can be ready at the end of the school year.”

Projects include:

-- Repairs to the shingled roof at Westchester Intermediate School, estimated at $133,000.

-- Upgrades to the HVAC system at Yost Elementary and new classroom doors with security hardware, estimated at $250,000.

-- Grading, repairs and underground pipework for the Special Services Center’s asphalt lot, estimated at $225,000.

-- HVAC balancing, reconfiguration and other repairs at Jackson Elementary, estimated at $185,000.

Lindy said the estimates don’t reflect the true cost of the project. That will be determined by how the bids come in.

The School Board approved bonds in early 2015 for facility projects needed to get done.

Facility projects going on currently include a $55,000 renovation to a bathroom at WIS and fire alarm replacement at the Special Services Center.

Marshal commented that he “could not be happier” with how good the building conditions are throughout Duneland with the help of Lindy and his team.

In another action, the board voted in favor of advertising an appropriation of $365,000 in its rainy day fund to purchase new equipment for support staff. From the total, $225,000 would go towards operations, grounds and equipment and $140,000 would be earmarked for vehicles.

An advertisement for additional appropriations will be posted in the newspaper by the end of this week, Duneland Schools Superintendent David Pruis said.

CHS class teaches

health, forensics

Meanwhile, CHS science teacher Amy Henderlong and students Nick Hanas, Molly Grimes and Paige Donovan gave the board an in-depth look into their Project Lead the Way class.

The class, which is open to all grades freshman through seniors, will work to solve the case of the mysterious death of the fictitious “Ana Garcia” whose crime-scene included blood splatter, a syringe and other objects the team will study.

Project Lead the Way, which is a non-profit group that develops STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes for schools across the nation, offers a series of classes that can help students interested in a particular field of study decide which direction they want to focus on for their careers.

“I can definitely see where it’s going to pay off having it at our school,” said Henderlong.

The class has a series of labs and hands-on activities to learn how biomedical and forensics are used in real life.



Posted 11/8/2016




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