Preliminary report on Valparaiso schools to be released
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent September 17, 2013 10:44PM
Updated: October 20, 2013 7:25AM
VALPARAISO — A preliminary report of the study of the 12 public schools in the city will soon go up on the district’s website.
Included in the 35-page report from Gibraltar Design of Indianapolis is a section on safety concerns about the buildings, Superintendent Mike Berta said.
The school board members and Berta received copies of that report and discussed it at Tuesday’s Valparaiso Community Schools Board meeting. Berta couldn’t give an exact date it would go online.
He said the district will merge the safety issues from the study with its local findings by each building’s maintenance and administration.
The school corporation wants to address the matter and other deferred maintenance at buildings with a bond issue of more than $1 million and will have a public hearing on that at 6 p.m. Oct. 1.
Board President Mark Maassel said the bond issue would take the place of multiple bond issues that are expiring and work would be done at all 12 school buildings — eight elementary schools, two middle schools, the high school and the career center.
To rate the buildings, Gibraltar used Indiana Department of Education guidelines for minimum standards of classroom size, Gibraltar President James Thompson said.
Those guidelines don’t include 21st Century Learning considerations, but Thompson said his firm would use those in the final report, too.
Berta said the 21st Century Learning guidelines are part of three important studies for the school district, including this facility study and a demographics study of what areas students are coming from and will come from in the future.
Gibraltar’s preliminary study also includes cost-saving opportunities, such as energy and utility efficiencies, and priorities for each school.
Berta said he wanted Gibraltar at the Oct. 15 school board meeting to coincide with the presentation of school demographics.
Gibraltar plans to finish its study by December.