commits to $64m school
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT The School Board committed itself Tuesday to building a
465,000-square-foot, 2,200-student high school and promised to borrow no more than $64
million to do it.
During a three-hour meeting and public hearing in the high school auditorium,
the board adopted resolutions by a 4-1 vote formally announcing its intention to proceed
with the project, which calls for the school to be built on 118 acres on 125th Avenue.
This design is very well thought out and very complete, board
member Michael McCormick said. Lets get it done.
Board member Bart Aiello cast the lone dissenting votes.
He said he was concerned about off-site costs like sewer lines and road work,
and that community growth projections of 3 percent per year were too high.
He also believes too high a proportion of the proposed building is dedicated
to athletics and physical education, and that the board should develop a contingency plan
for cutting the extent of the project if costs prove to go over the $64 million mark.
You should go out and chew these facts over for yourselves,
Aiello told audience members. See if this project is something you can live
Board member Jackie Webster said the project was a conservative one and the
community was getting the most for your money.
I am very comfortable with the 465,000 square feet, she said.
Besides the $64 million limit for a bond sale, the resolutions set a 26-year
term for repayment of the bonds and estimated the school corporation would pay an interest
rate of 6 percent.
Tuesdays votes came after presentations by architects and financial
consultants and a public hearing during which proponents and opponents of the project
Architect Ken Grabow of ATS&R presented the school design unveiled last
week, and construction manager Larry Koenes of Skillman Corp. presented a cost estimate of
about $57 million, excluding off-site costs.
Koenes also said the project completion date would be no later than July
Financial consultant Tim Joyce of Municipal Consultants said between borrowed money and
other funds already set aside for the project, the school corporation has $68 million to
spend. He said the tax impact of the project on an average valued residence would be
$184.37 in the year 2000, the peak year of the bond financing.During the public hearing,
22 residents spoke. Most supported the project, many citing educational benefits from a
new school, others the need to do it now rather than pay a higher cost later.
The parents of our grandparents first built the original Crown Point High
School, and many generations of children have benefited from their generosity. Now, it is
up to the current parents and grandparents to do the same, said Larry Huelat.
Mayor James Metros said putting the project off will only mean paying more in
The question isnt how much building a new high school will cost, he
said, but what is the price of not building a new high school?
Most opponents questioned the cost.
This is definitely not affordable to the single-income families and to
the fixed-income senior population, James Forsythe said.
Former board member Michel Nikolich said the board was dramatically
understating the cost of the project.
Project opponents will now have one last chance to block the new school by
instigating a petition drive that, if successful, would delay the project one year.
Opponents have 30 days from Tuesday to register their support for a
remonstrance petition drive. If 250 property owners call for the petition drive, a 60-day
contest will start during which supporters and opponents of the project collect signatures
from property owners.
If supporters get the most signatures, the project moves ahead; if opponents
do, the project is delayed one year, at which time the process would be repeated if the
School Board still supported construction of a new high school.
By Kathie Godfrey
LOWELL Young and old gathered together on Monday to
remember friends, relatives and neighbors who died in wars in Memorial Day Services held
in Lowell and Crown Point.
In Crown Point, the ceremony started with a parade, followed over to
Maplewood Cemetery and ended at the triangle on North Main Street, where flowers were
placed at the foot of the monument there.
Guest speaker at the cemetery was Richard Quattrin, past commander of the
Department of Indianas American Legion.
In Lowell, people gathered to honor the dead at the Tri-Creek War Memorial
adjacent to Lowell Memorial Cemetery.
American Legion Vice Commander David Rowley led the program, which included a
gun salute by members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6841and American Legion Post 101.
The ceremony also included prayers, a presentation of memorial wreaths and a single solemn
bugle playing taps while spectators recalled their own memories of war.
I came here to remember Mickey Agnew, a family friend who spent three
months in a prisoner of war camp after he was captured at the Battle of the Bulge,
said Lowell resident Nell Fabish. He was a wonderful person.
Councilwoman Karen Brooker, R-2nd, attended the program with her husband Jim,
a Vietnam veteran. Brooker said she came to remember high school classmates who served in
Many of them didnt come back or came back terribly
disabled, she said.
Brooker said her uncles, who had served in the South Pacific during World War
II, had returned home unharmed but were unable to speak of their wartime experiences.
Jim wont talk about the war either, she said, gesturing
toward her husband.
World War II veteran Richard Schmal said he had spent three years in the
Pacific, two years in Hawaii and one year on a tiny desert island on the equator
just 500 yards wide engaging the Japanese.
I saw many service people from Lowell in Hawaii, he said.
Schmal said 13 million American men and women were under arms during the
height of that war.
To do that every community had to contribute quite a few young
people, he said.
Town Council President Ray Raszewski, D-3rd, said his father, Raymond Sr.,
had returned to Glassport, Penn. as a decorated hero after the war. After his plane landed
behind enemy lines, Raszewskis father persuaded 232 Germans to surrender to the
Allies and release their French prisoners.
Raszewski, who was one of many spectators to recall the theme of the
much-lauded film Saving Private Ryan, said his grandmother was a seven-star
mother who had seven sons in the service at one time.
My middle name, Valentine, was given to me in honor of Valentine
Raszewski, my uncle, who was killed during World War II, he said.