TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The Vigo County School Corporation is planning a potential referendum project. School officials held a press conference on Wednesday to break down why this is needed and detailed a potential school building project.
“Without question, VCSC’s high school facilities are in need of serious attention,” Superintendent Rob Haworth said, “Academic delivery is being significantly impacted by our facilities.”
Haworth says the situation is holding back teachers’ ability to deliver a 21st-century education to students. That’s why the school corporation says Wednesday starts a year-long community discussion about what needs to happen. Haworth says there are many financial unknowns at this time, and there is a lot to consider moving forward.
“What the school corporation is uncertain of—what we are unclear about—is how those dollars can be spent and how that might impact a potential school building project,” Haworth said.
Monday, the school corporation was approved to receive $13.5 million as a part of COVID-19 relief. Haworth says more COVID relief federal dollars could be on the way. Additionally, a possible infrastructure bill from President Biden could also provide money. However, construction costs have increased significantly in the past year. All of these factors could impact this project, but Haworth says this is definitely a broad discussion.
“This discussion is also about the delivery of curriculum and instruction and what does that look like. This discussion is also about economic impact to our community,” Haworth explained, “This discussion is also about property taxes and the pocketbook impact that a building program would have.”
With the current financial uncertainties of this potential project, there is even a possibility of no referendum in May of 2022. Haworth says the school district is looking for feedback.
“I think the way forward for communities when we are speaking of school projects and dollars that we weren’t expecting to be flowing in at the county, city, and school level is how do we wisely work together to spend those dollars,” Haworth concluded.
This project plans to include improvements to roofing, heating and cooling, coolers for cafeterias, and of course academic settings. Dr. Haworth says he’s looking forward to hearing the community’s hopes for this project.
The first of several community meetings about this project will be held on Thursday, April 8th at 6:30 PM. It will be at Lost Creek Elementary.