Palmer Wing Tour Offered Tuesday Afternoon


Voters who reside within the Knox Community School Corporation limits can see for themselves the problems with the elementary school’s 60-year-old Palmer wing during an open house and tour this afternoon at 4 p.m. It’s sponsored by the “Whatever It Takes” Committee, who claims the original school lacks the electrical infrastructure necessary to support today’s high-tech classrooms, the heating and air conditioning systems are over-taxed, and foundation problems are causing cracks in the floor. Additionally, they say the kitchen is too cramped for cafeteria staff to prepare enough food for the entire building.

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Knox Voters Encouraged to Tour Elementary School’s Palmer Wing


Voters in California, Center and Washington Townships can get a firsthand look at what advocates say are long overdue and necessary repairs to the Palmer wing at Knox Elementary School this evening. The Whatever it Takes Committee is hosting another open house at the school from 5 until 6 p.m. Problems with the 60-year-old original structure include an antiquated heating and cooling system, a cramped cafeteria that is insufficient to prepare food for the entire student population and a host of other problems. The work will only be done if voters agree to support a property tax during a May 7th special election, for which absentee voting is under way at the Starke County Courthouse. Click to determine how much your property taxes will go up should the referendum pass.

Absentee Voting Starts, Voter Registration Ends Today

Today is the last day to register to vote and the first day to vote absentee for the May 7 special election in Starke County.

If you have not previously registered to vote in Starke County, today is the last day you may do so. Registration is available in the Starke County Clerk’s office. If you reside in the Knox Community School voting district, you are eligible to vote in the special election on May 7.

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Whatever it Takes Committee Holds Open House at KCES

You have to see it to believe it.

The Whatever it Takes Committee held an Open House Tuesday night at the Knox Community Elementary School in order to inform those attending of the proposed construction project on the May 7 ballot. Superintendent A.J. Gappa went over the specific problem areas in the 60-year-old Palmer Wing and how the project would be funded.

“I showed them the highlights of the problems with the HVAC units and the electrical system that’s maxed out,” said Gappa. “Door number seven fell in last year into a tunnel beneath it and we had to have that fixed. We also talked about wall separation in certain areas where the foundation is separating from the walls and the boiler system is outdated and in constant need of repair.”

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Open House Tomorrow at Knox Elementary School


An opportunity is available for you to see what the Knox Community School Board is looking to do in terms of renovation and construction at the Knox Elementary School if the voters approve a public question that will be offered on the May 7 ballot.

You will be able to tour the Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School tomorrow from 6–7 p.m. CT. Your tour will begin in the old all-purpose room at the east end of the elementary building.

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Open House Scheduled For Knox Elementary School Palmer Wing

An open house will be held Tuesday, April 2 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School so you can tour the portion of the building that is up for a proposed construction project.

The construction of the Palmer Wing is in the fate of the voters of the Knox Community School District on May 7 where a yes or no majority vote determines the future of that portion of the building.

Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the open house is sponsored by the “Whatever it Takes Committee” who supports the project. The event will be held in the all-purpose room in the elementary school.

“That’s kind of the heart of the old building,” explained Gappa. “It’s connected to the affected areas including the kitchen and the boiler rooms. Tours will be offered to anybody who hasn’t been through the building.”

The open house is intended to be an informational meeting to address current building concerns, overview of the project and the impact on community members.

Deadline Approaching to Register to Vote in May Special Election


This year may be an off-year for elections, but there will be a special election in Starke County this May.

The Knox Community School Board is offering a public question on the May ballot that concerns a construction and rehabilitation project at the Palmer Wing section of the Knox Elementary School. The school board has conducted studies and received public input about the need to reconstruct a portion of the building and remodel another section in order to move forward with education needs at the facility.

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Work Session Shows Community Support For New Knox Wing Construction

Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The work session held by the Knox Community School Board last week shed some light on the feelings of the community concerning the Palmer Wing project at the elementary school. Superintendent A.J. Gappa explained that of the three options available – do nothing, renovate the existing wing, or build a new one – the consensus seemed to favor constructing a new wing.

With just over a dozen patrons in attendance alongside staff members at the meeting, Gappa says the majority seemed to favor the idea of building a new wing and carrying on with classes as normal until the wing has been completed. Then, classes would be added to the new wing, and the 60-year-old Palmer Wing would be torn down. Gappa explained the new wing would likely be at the west end of the newer structure of the elementary school.

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Work Session To Be Held Regarding Knox Elementary Palmer Wing

The Knox Community School Board will hold a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. to discuss the possible elementary facility project.

Residents are encouraged to attend this event and give their opinion on what the board should do with the Palmer Wing of the elementary school. The board has been getting updates from the Elementary Facility Study Committee; Architects Barton, Coe, Villema and financial representatives Umbaugh and Associates, and the groups have been discussing all options available.

The Palmer Wing is deteriorating and can no longer house all of the technology and necessary needs in that section of the elementary school. The board has the options of doing nothing, tearing down the Palmer Wing and building a new structure in its place, or rehabilitating the current structure.

The board will meet in the Knox Community Elementary School All-Purpose Room and will take comments from the public. No action will be taken at this meeting.

Knox Community School Board To Meet With Architecture Firm

Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa

The Knox Community School Board discussed the Facility Study Committee’s progress with the Palmer Wing. Superintendent A.J. Gappa said the committee is still gathering information on whether to build a new wing or to rehabilitate the deteriorated structure.

“Our board has a committee that will meet this week with a representative from the Barton, Coe and Villema architecture firm in Fort Wayne,” said Gappa. “We will proceed with talk about the possibility of a renovation or replacing the Palmer Wing at the elementary school.”

After the Committee meets with the architect, Gappa says the Board will plan meetings with the public.

“We plan to have some more public meetings and invite the members of the public in and get input on which direction to go,” said Gappa.

Public Invited To Tour Knox Elementary School Palmer Wing

The Knox Facility Study Committee met with Curt Pletcher from Umbaugh and Associates on June 26 to go over the financial feasibility of renovating or constructing a new Palmer Wing of the Knox Elementary School. Superintendent A.J. Gappa said they are trying to figure out how either project would impact the tax rate of the school district.

“The board wanted to have an idea of what direction to go,” said Gappa. “We will meet again with an architect within the next two weeks with our committee and at that point we will invite people in who came a year ago to start making more firm plans.”

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Knox Community School Board Receives Facility Study Update

Knox Community School Superintendent, A.J. Gappa, gave the School Board an update on the Elementary School Facility study:

“I told them that we had taken most of the teachers, the certified staff, from the Elementary on a tour of the building. If we decide to proceed with any facility improvements, the staff will be aware of what’s going on and can answer questions on their own because they’ve seen everything,” stated Gappa.

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Knox Community School Board Receives Facility Study Update

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa gave the School Board a facility study update this week.

“Our Board has been investigating work that needs to be done at the Elementary School. I’ve been meeting with the staff members at the Elementary School by grade level and offering them the same mini tour and showing them the inner workings of the building, similar to what the Board had seen during a mini retreat that they had and also what the public was shown last spring.”

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Knox Community School Board Gets Update on Elementary Facility Study

Gary Dulin, Jerry Fletcher, Harold Welter, Mary Lynn Ritchie, Kirk Bennett, Nathan Marcum, Mike Yankauskas, Superintendent A.J. Gappa

Knox Community School Superintendent A.J. Gappa gave the School Board members a report from the recent Parent/Teacher conferences at the Elementary School.

“We gave an Elementary facility study update to the Board just to keep them updated on what’s going on, especially at the Palmer Wing,” said Superintendent Gappa. “During our recent Parent/Teacher Conference days in mid-October, the administrators from the Elementary School, along with some other staff members, opened up the Palmer Wing to any parents who came through at Parent/Teacher Conferences and wanted to see the state of the building. As we move forward and try to decide what we want to do with that buildling, we think the process is to sell the need and let parents actually see what shape the building is in and the part we’re talking about is almost 60 years old.”

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Parents Give Input on Aging Palmer Wing at the Knox Elementary School

The Knox Community Elementary School recently held parent/teacher conferences and during that time, parents were asked to go through the Palmer Wing.

“The administrators from the Elementary School invited members and parents in to look at Palmer Wing at the Elementary School just to show some of the needs that might be necessary,” said Superintendent A.J. Gappa. “Our maintenance people do a great job of maintaining things, but that building is nearing 60 years old so some things are going to need to be taken care of. Six or seven parents each night did take advantage and looked at the Palmer Wing and pretty much the comments were unanimous. There is going to have to be something done sometime in the near future.”

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Knox School Board Meets with Constituents to Discuss Palmer Wing

This spring, the Knox Community School Board met with a committee to discuss issues with the east end of the Elementary School, known as the Palmer Wing. The committee has found that there are some issues that need to be fixed with the 60-year-old infrastructure and building. The infrastructure is not built for today’s technology needs in terms of electric capacity and space. and water lines need to be replaced.

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