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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 07, 2018 1:00 am

SACS lines up construction

Lafayette Meadows set to expand

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Southwest Allen County Schools continues to work toward a summer groundbreaking for its $10 million expansion of an at-capacity school.

This spring, the district plans to hire companies to handle two areas of the Lafayette Meadows Elementary project: the construction management side – or the bricks-and-mortar elements – and the design-build portion, which focuses on the mechanical, electrical and plumbing aspects.

Interviews for both areas are set for March 19, Business Manager Jim Coplen said, but there will be only one choice to make.

While it received four proposals for construction management, the district got only one for the design-build area, he told the school board Tuesday. He sought – and got – permission from the board to proceed with the process anyway.

Board President Meagan Milne asked about the consequences of a poor interview. “That would be a hiccup, yes,” said Coplen, who added that the district faces a tight timeline.

In other business, the school board approved elective course additions at Summit Middle School for the upcoming academic year.

Journalism will be offered for seventh- and eighth-graders, who will produce a school digital magazine and other school publications. The class is offered at Southwest Allen's other middle school, Woodside.

For sixth-graders, an independent living course will be added to the unified arts rotation, which comprises three 12-week classes. The addition, which will have a home economics feel, replaces a class that has addressed listening skills, note taking, textbook usage, problem solving and test taking.

The board was also briefed on the results of an initial staff climate survey that measured more than 300 educators' satisfaction and frustration levels on how much control or choice they have in their job, their relationships at work and their capabilities.

Students are also being surveyed. The process started with Homestead High School in December. The results will help administrators and teachers identify areas needing improvement.

“To me, negative feedback is a good thing” because it spurs growth, Homestead Principal Park Ginder said.