School comments

School comments by Dr. Robert Mayer Vermillion Public Schools The issue of the location of the school district's central office surfaces from time to time. There are a number of citizens who believe the central office should be located in one of the schools. The school board is interested in seeking input from the public on this issue. The following information is provided.

The district moved its central office from the old Jolley Annex to 17 Prospect in 1985. The Prospect building is owned by Qwest (US West). The school pays $12,000 in rent annually. This amount includes utilities and comes from the capital outlay budget, thus having no impact upon the current budget problems in the general fund. There is space of approximately 2,000 square feet occupied by six people. The district leases about 500 square feet of storage space for records required by law at a cost of $3,000 annually.

In the 1997-98 school year, a facilities task force of citizens was formed to evaluate the school's facility needs. The task force recommended that the school board undertake what is now the new high school addition. When evaluating the district's facility needs, the task force also studied the issue of including the central office as part of the new high school facility.

The architects completed a floor drawing and budget analysis. The cost was expected to be $100 a square foot. The need was estimated to be 2500-3000 square feet. Therefore, the cost was projected to be $250,000-$300,000 to add the central office onto the new high school addition. The task force and school board did not believe there would be adequate public support to increase the cost of the new addition by $250,000-$300,000, and thus the central office was never added to the high school addition.

If the central office could be moved to one of the schools, there would be a need for a minimum of 2500 square feet. None of the school buildings has that needed space. Remodeling could not create the needed space. The only solution would be to add 2500 square feet to one of the schools to accommodate the central office.

The board of education will hear public testimony on this subject at its meeting on Sept. 23, 7 p.m., Vermillion High School Library.

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