Cassopolis approves bond proposal

Published 4:45 pm Friday, May 8, 2015

Cassopolis Public Schools will put before the voters a $3,339,000 bond proposal in August.

The announcement was made at the Cassopolis Board of Education regular meeting at Squires Education Center Monday night.

The bond, which will be just less than a mil, is to help make repairs to buildings in the district, especially Ross Beatty Jr./Sr. High School, which has been neglected for much of its 38 years of existence.

The bond would also help upgrade technology at Ross Beatty, which is dramatically lacking compared to Sam Adams Elementary.

“We had a study done on the building, so the architect is the one who came up with exactly what we needed to fix these buildings and get them back up to par,” John Bright, a member of the building and grounds committee said. “They identified the deficiencies and where all the leaks are in these buildings. That came through a study, which gave us the numbers as to what it would cost to make these repairs.

“The building and grounds committee met several times, hammered through the numbers as to what was acceptable and unacceptable. We were able to narrow it down to what is in front of you tonight. It comes with the recommendation of the building and grounds committee.”

The exact wording of the bond proposal will be given to the public at the next regular meeting of the board of education, which is May 11 at 7 p.m. at Squires Education Center.

The board voted 6-0 to move forward with the bond proposal. Board member Lisa Cutting was absent from the meeting.

The board also voted not to move the sixth grade students from Sam Adams to Ross Beatty. Board members heard loud and clear at a community meeting that parents, teachers and students were unhappy with the idea of moving the sixth grade over to the junior/senior high school.

Board members in attendance, as well as Superintendent Tracy Hertsel, also took away from that meeting that the same group did not have a problem with changing the curriculum so that kindergarten through fifth grade were grouped together, the sixth through eighth grades were grouped together and then the freshmen through seniors.

“I want to thank all the board members that were able to make it,” Hertsel said. “I think this was an important night for the community to be able to speak. I was very happy to see how many people turned out and voiced their opinions. I also think it really gave myself and the board the perspective of the community.”

The board voted 6-0 to withdraw the proposed move of the sixth grade from Sam Adams to Ross Beatty.

In other action:

• The board recognized retirees Connie Fedore, Cathy Murray and Sandy Rogers for their years of service to the district. Fedore was presented with a gift of appreciation. Murray and Rogers were unable to attend the meeting, but will receive the same honor at a later date.

• Heard from Lewis Cass Intermediate School District Superintendent Robert Colby about the proposed ISD budget. The board will vote on a resolution supporting that budget at its May 11 meeting.

• The last day for students is Wednesday, June 10. June 8-10 will be half days for students.

• Cassopolis will hold graduation at 2 p.m. May 31.