Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

March 13, 2014

GCS should dive into GMS location

As officials of Goshen Community Schools campaigned for a $17.15 million construction and remodeling project referendum last year, one major question remained unanswered throughout: Where would the new pool go? Four months after the public gave its blessing, we’re close to having our answer. The school board is expected to vote on a site during its next meeting.

COMPRISING $10 million of the overall project cost, the location options for the new pool are either Goshen High School or Goshen Middle School. A site wasn’t determined before the referendum because school officials decided to proceed with a design-build process to keep costs down. Therefore, design expenses would not be incurred until the project was approved by voters.

After Monday’s meeting of school trustees it appears the Goshen Middle School campus at the corner of Ind. 119 (Plymouth Avenue) and C.R. 19 (Indiana Avenue) is the favorite to win the pool sweepstakes. That is the consensus of three design-build teams and a special task force of respected community members assembled to recommend the best site. Based strictly on the eyeball test, it also seems to us the middle school makes the most sense.

ACCORDING TO THE task force recommendation report presented Monday, about 300 students at the high school use that building’s existing pool as part of a freshman physical education requirement. Another 57 students use that pool as members of the boys and girls swim teams.

At the middle school more than a 1,000 students use the existing pool over the course of each school year as part of the GMS physical education curriculum. Both existing pools will be closed and re-purposed as part of this project. We have always been concerned that the middle school swimming curriculum would become a casualty of locating the new pool off of that campus. We believe strongly in teaching children to swim. Not only does it promote lifelong physical fitness opportunities, it could save a person’s life. Therefore, we would hate to see the middle school program go. Busing those students to the high school would make neither logistical nor financial sense. It is evident that more students would benefit from a pool at the middle school than at the high school.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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