A community in need
Needs for Goshen’s middle and high schools stem from well before the community discussion for a center. In fact, space concerns for the orchestra and band programs were apparent for the high school not long after the high school’s 1997 renovation, according to school Superintendent Diane Woodworth.
“In the 1997 model, the school’s band and orchestra areas got short-changed,” Woodworth said Friday. “There’s never really been adequate space for those programs.”
The community center project gives an opportunity to improve problems at the middle and high schools by eliminating pool areas, converting those spaces into a fitness room at the high school and a band room at the middle school, Woodworth said. While these projects are under way, it’s cost-effective to include other construction and renovation at the same time, she said.
Other construction includes a kitchen addition at the middle school, and a band addition at the high school, both projects considered by the school district long before the community center idea took hold, Woodworth said. While these projects could be completed by the school separately, Woodworth said it’s worthwhile to work together.
“Right now, we’re putting our energy into working with the city, pooling our resources ... To me, what we can do together is greater than what we can do separately,” Woodworth said. “If we combine our resources, we have something everyone in the city can use.”
Mayor Allan Kauffman said he drives through other communities with community centers and sees them as a resource.
“They’re wonderful attractions for these communities,” he said.
Beyond the community’s current need for the center, Kauffman said he also sees the benefit of working with the school corporation to fund the project.
“The opportunity we have right now to partner with the school corporation is a rare one, and we don’t want to lose it,” he said. “If we don’t partner with them now, they’ll have to go off on their own. It’s a pretty nice opportunity to pool our resources and I hope the community would support it.”