N.J.-S.P. School Board Agrees to Pursue Elementary School Renovation Project

The North Judson-San Pierre School Board has decided to pursue a renovation project at the elementary school. School officials had also been considering moving the elementary school to the former middle school building, but board members voted Tuesday to commit to the renovation of the current elementary school, instead.

Superintendent Dr. Annette Zupin said it gained more support during a recent work session. “At that time, we all had positive thoughts on keeping the elementary as it is and remodeling that because of the cost-effectiveness and also the potential of programming at the middle school,” Zupin reminded board members.

Some of the proposed renovations include roof and window replacement, as well as upgrades to lighting and mechanical systems. Other ideas include subdividing the existing gym to allow for an expanded cafeteria, large group instruction area, or special needs space, along with the potential construction of a new auxiliary gym. As long as the work is done for $10 million or less, the school corporation won’t have to raise the tax rate.

Members of the community seem to be in favor of renovating the current elementary school, according to School Board Vice-President Sandy Kersting-Rudd. “I haven’t heard anybody say anything about the middle school, which I thought would be the big question,” she said. “Like I said when the teachers were here, I think with them being at the forefront of it and they say this is what needs to be done, then people understand that it’s not the board going, ‘Hey, let’s build this new school,’ or whatever.”

Before the school board can officially issue the bonds to pay for the work, Zupin said a public hearing will be held in February to give residents a chance to voice their opinions. The majority of the construction would not be expected to start until the summer of 2021.