Starke County Council Considers Bond Issue and Additional Appropriation Request from NJSP Schools

North Judson-San Pierre Schools will be getting money for technology and security upgrades thanks to a decision by the Starke County Council members last night.

School Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin explained that the school completed paperwork for a $1.1 million General Obligation bond which will help pay for technology upgrades and security upgrades at the schools. Students would be able to have updated technology devices while security cameras would be installed at the elementary school. In addition, new, secure entrances would be constructed at a cost of approximately $400,000. Zupin said the rest of the funds would be set aside for about three years to gauge enrollment at the elementary school. If the student population stays status quo or increases, the remaining money will be used to update the building.

Councilman David Pearman asked what the funding would be used for if the elementary school is no longer needed. Zupin answered that it would be used to re-roof the remaining buildings or be used for other capital projects. The bond money cannot be used for other purposes other than capital projects.

The Liberty Elementary School is the oldest building owned by the school corporation. It dates back to about 1952.

Curt Pletcher from Umbaugh and Associates said the school has debt falling off in 2019 and the payments for the three-year bond could be made without impacting the levy.

The school board last week held a public hearing regarding this funding request and no public comment was provided. The school board members approved all paperwork in order to move forward with this process.

Councilman Freddie Baker commented that the school corporation has been very responsible with its budget since its large scale restructuring a few years ago and he supported the bond issue and additional appropriation request.

The council members did unanimously approve the request as presented. The projects could begin yet this summer.