GOSHEN — A new swimming pool for Goshen Community Schools will be constructed at the middle school.
After discussion, the Goshen Board of School Trustee’s Monday voted in favor, 6 to 1, for the site at the middle school during a meeting held at Chandler Elementary School.
The pool location task force site recommended the site at the board's last meeting after studying what the best location for the pool should be.
Board member James Ramer voted for the middle school site.
“My heart and gut say it should be at the high school, but looking at the numbers...it needs to be at the middle school,” Ramer said.
Goshen resident Andrea Johnson served as a member of the pool location task force and spoke before the board voted on the location.
“It only makes sense at the middle school. There are so many ifs at the high school. There are fewer students to transport at the middle school and if it was at the high school more little kids would have to be bussed,” Johnson said. “Goshen High School might have to expand simply for classrooms in the future and it’s a little more cost effective at the middle school.”
All three design-build teams would prefer to construct the new pool at the Goshen Middle School site because it would be less expensive, said GCS Superintendent Diane Woodworth.
Last November Goshen Community School district voters approved a $35 million building plan, which included up to $10 million for a new pool to replace the current pools at the middle school and high school. Voters were told that once the bonding referendum was approved, a location would be determined.
Longer school days
In other business, Woodworth presented a proposal to the board members on lengthening the school day 10 minutes starting April 7 for students to make up the ninth snow day.
Five minutes would be added at the beginning of the day and five minutes added to the end of the day. It is a joint administrative decision between GCS administration and the Goshen Education Association, she added.
Woodworth said the proposal will allow the corporation to make up the snow day without adding another day or shortening spring break, which already has been cut short to add three make up snow days.
“The end of the year is now June 6, which is a Friday,” Woodworth said. “We didn’t want to extend into another week.”
The only change would be when the school starts and end.
“If the proposal goes forward, GMS and GHS will have to decide how to arrange the additional 10 minutes,” Woodworth said. “Shall they add it all to one period or spread it out over all the periods in the day, etc.”
The additional makeup days haven’t seemed to have affected the morale of administration, teachers and students.
“I think they realize that there is nothing anyone can do about the weather and they seemed to have taken it all in stride,” Woodworth said. “We have a great staff!”
In other business, the board approved the lunch prices for the 2014-2015 school year, which will not have to be increased, according to Business Manager Jerry Hawkins.
“Current federal procedures require us to do a calculation that determines if increases are mandatory,” said Hawkins. “This calculation takes in consideration the percent of free and reduced students, our current prices and the federal reimbursement rates. We do not have to raise our prices at this time.”
The prices are currently $1.85 for kindergarten to eighth grade and $2 for sixth-graders through twelfth-grade.
Hawkins told the board that the school corporation is investigating how to better serve the public when it comes to receiving credit card/debit payments.
“Very few people carry a checkbook anymore and some don’t even have much cash with them,” Hawkins said. “We receive many requ4sts to accept credit/debit cards for various payments. To date the only option parents have had is to go online for lunch or textbook payments. These transactions do cost the parents and participation is somewhat limited.”
After discussion with building bookkeepers, it has become obvious that providing some method of accepting credit/debit cards would be a positive option for parents, he added.
“We also believe it would improve the collection rates, especially in textbook rental,” Hawkins said. “Another component would be who is responsible for the fees related to credit/debit card transactions. It may be worth absorbing those fees since there would be less handling of cash and provide higher collection rates.”
School officials will continue to pursue possibilities and begin phasing in some options for parents during the next few months, he added.