Challenges of passing school bonds
SJSD in discussion with American Family as site of future high school
.if the board of education at the st.
Joseph school district has it's way, the city's new high school will be neither north to replace lafayette, nor south to replace benton.
It'll be on the east side of town, if a deal can be completed and voters pass a bond issue.
That was the word out of district headquarters this afternoon.
<<the next step in the st.
Joseph school district's facility plan is complete.
They've tentatively decided on the american family campus in east st.
Joseph as the location for a new high school.
They say 250,000 square feet of space on over 90 acres of land fits the bill for what the district is looking for."the current space along with some additions can be converted into a 21st century learning space that can meet the needs of our students in grades 9-12."é administrators say they've been in discussions with american family about the building for a while and have toured it and they like what they've seen.
They say there's an advantage in purchasing a building that is already there instead of needing to build a new school from the ground up.
"there are still a lot of things that can be remodeled and redone.
It's just an expansive building.
There are still several floors that aren't even completely finished, that are open and ready to be redone.
The creativity of the architects can really be utilized in that facility because of the number of square feet that are there."
For board members, some relief and excitement."we as a board have gone over and over again all the data that tells us we can no longer sustain more than two high schools.
To get to this point have have this property that is so inviting is real exciting."one last major step though before it's a done deal -- the plan is contingent on voters passing the 107 million dollar bond project that will be on the ballot april 6th.
In addition to renovating the american family building into a high school, it would fund reconfiguring both lafayette and benton high schools to be used as middle schools."again it will be their decision whether we go through with building something new.
But most definitely, to get our kids into the 21st century we have to do buildings."
The american family building houses almost 800 employees -- they are the 7th largest employer in the city according to statistics from the chamber of commerce.
However, for most of the past year, the building has been mostly vacant as most employees have been working remotely during the pandemic.
No purchase price was discussed today.