During their monthly meeting Thursday night, members of the Elkhart City Council heard updates on construction progress of Elkhart Independent School District, among other discussed topics.
Dr. Ray De Spain, superintendent of Elkhart ISD, presented information to the council that included progress on replacing old equipment and pouring concrete for additional parking.
“As with most construction projects, this has kind of blossomed and bloomed and we’ve had to jump over a lot of hurdles,” De Spain said, “We certainly needed a safer school bus pick-up area for all of our kiddos, and we also needed a good part of additional parking… and we very soon discovered there were a number of additional things that truly needed to be done.”
The district saw fit to replace water, gas and sewer lines, and install a storm drainage system and underground electrical system channeling into the schools facilities. He said they also extended the scope of the parking project to include even more spaces, claiming an area between the old Elk Theater building and the Smith House, for instance.
As the project took shape, De Spain said they also saw need to remove old buildings that were no longer safe — some being condemned with mold and asbestos issues.
The school sold and moved two mobile homes that were being used as classrooms and some modular classroom buildings, “and then we demolished three other buildings,” he added.
De Spain said that originally the school district hoped to have the entire project completed by the first part of the summer, though with weather and other factors, the current plan is “by the first Monday in August to have the entire project completed,” he said.
After hearing public comment related to agenda and non-agenda items, in which citizens were allowed to speak for three minutes on various topics, Regions Bank presented information to the council on refinancing a bond for the city, which could potentially assist in the city’s plans to move on with a water improvement project.