Clark-Shawnee considers building options, moving students

Most Clark-Shawnee parents Tuesday night said they support moving seventh- and eighth-grade students to Shawnee High School and building at least one or two new schools to give students more academic opportunities and ease overcrowding.

But some parents and community members also raised questions about how the district would separate the students, busing, community support for a bond issue and what would happen to abandoned schools.

“I think it would be a benefit,” said Amy Klemmensen, who has an 11th-grade daughter and a daughter who will be a seventh grader next year. “My daughter is on the higher end of academics, and she is able to be offered more advanced classes. It would be wonderful.”

Clark-Shawnee officials met Tuesday at Possum for the first in a series of public discussions about a proposal to move seventh- and eighth-grade students to Shawnee High School.

The district also discussed proposed plans to renovate schools and build new buildings.

Additional meetings are scheduled at 6:30 p.m. today at Reid and Thursday at Rockway to get input from the community. Meetings will also be held at 6:30 p.m. March 14 at Reid, March 15 at Rockway and March 16 at Possum.

Superintendent Gregg Morris said the goal of the meetings is to get public input about five proposed options to address the district’s aging buildings and overcrowded schools.

“We just want to hear what the community has to say. We’ve narrowed it to five, and we’re looking to see where they are,” Morris said.

The five options are:

No. 1 - Placing a 6.6- or 7-mill bond issue on the ballot, which would include additions and renovations to all existing buildings at a total cost of $65 million with a local share of $47 million.

No. 2 - Placing a 5.80-6.30-mill bond issue on the ballot, which would include moving seventh-and eighth graders to the high school and renovate the high school as well as the pre-K to sixth grade schools at a total cost of $57 million, with a local share of $41 million.

No. 3 - Place a 5.75-6.25-mill bond issue on the ballot to fund full renovation of the high school for grades seven through 12, build three new schools for pre-K through six graders, with the option to abate, sell or demolish the current pre-K though six grade schools at a total cost of $60 million with a local share of $41 million.

No. 4 - Place a 5.25 - 5.75-mill bond issue on the ballot, which would fund full renovation of the high school to accommodate seventh through 12, build two new schools for pre-K through six graders, with an option of abate, sell or demolish the remaining schools at a projected total cost of $54.8 million with a local share of about $37.7 million.

No. 5 - Place a 4.75 to 5.25-mill bond issue on the ballot to fund full renovation of the high school to accommodate grades seven through 12, build one new pre-K through six grade school, with an option to abate, sell or demolish the remaining schools at projected total cost of $50.5 million and a local share of $34.7 million.

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