H.S. poses problem
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The School Board received a taste
Monday of the cold hard facts upon which they'll have to base a decision
on the future use of the current high school.
Larry Koenes of Skillman Corp., the company
studying the building's potential, said the entire structure will need
work to be used in any way.
"We have not found any part of the
building that does not need to be updated," Koenes said. And
"there are parts of the building we will strongly recommend you get
He described the building as a "jigsaw
puzzle" - a result of numerous additions to a core about 70 years
Skillman plans to have a final report complete
for the board's Aug. 27 meeting. The report will detail work that would
need to be done for the building to be transformed into any of four
grade configurations: a kindergarten though eighth-grade school with 800
students; a seventh- and eighth-grade school with 1,100 students; a
kindergarten through sixth-grade school with 450 students; and a sixth-
through eighth-grade school with 1,100 students.
Also, Skillman will create a cost estimate for
demolishing the current building and constructing a new seventh- and
eighth-grade building on the site.
Koenes said Skillman will provide timelines for
all the possible projects. He noted, "You really cannot do any work
in that building until June 2003" when the new high school opens.
The issue of what to do with the current high
school arose when the administration determined budget constraints would
not allow it to be operated as a sixth- through eighth-grade middle
school, as originally planned. The program costs of maintaining to
middle schools would be too high, it was determined.
Instead, the administration put together a
committee that recommended the current high school be used for seventh
and eighth grades, and Taft be used for fifth and sixth grades.
Strong opposition to that, led by board member
Michael McCormick, led school officials to reopen the issue to consider
a variety of possibilities, and to hire Skillman to study the cost of
Dale ire raised by basins
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
LAKE DALECARLIA - In front of a packed house at the
community's POA building, residents last week firmly voiced their
opposition to the two equalization basins Cedar Lake plans on building
approximately one half mile from the community boundaries.
"These basins will be creating an extreme
hazard to our community because it could possibly endanger the water we
drink," said Louise Roys, president of Indiana SOS, a group
opposing the basins. "We are the only site that is aquifer
dependent. If any of this waste leaks and contaminates our drinking
water, we have no alternatives and are stuck."
Cedar Lake is planning to build the basins as
part of the rehabilitation of its sanitary sewage system. Constructing
them will regulate the flow of sewage to the Lowell treatment plant,
reducing the possibility of potential leaks and overflow, according to
Cedar Lake officials.
Major concerns from the public include the
possibility of contracting encephalitis from the sewage contaminants,
and Cedar Lake's decision no to rehabilitate its main inceptor line
which then would eliminate the construction of the basins.
"We could lose all of our wildlife and
storm birds due to construction these basins," said Roys.
"Also, sickness and diseases could be more prevalent because they
are so close to our town's boundaries. Cedar Lake needs to repair its
inceptor line so that it can handle the waste flowage from the town and
there would be no need to create these basins."
State Rep. Robert Kuzman, D-Crown Point, said
he would like to know the costs of rehabilitating the interceptor line
compared to constructing the basins.
The basins will cost approximately $2.5 million
spanning over a 20-year term. Annual costs for Cedar Lake will be
$105,000 to maintain them.
State Sen. Sue Lanske, R-Cedar Lake, told Lake
Dale residents about the Indiana Department of Environmental
Management's circuit rider program that responds to residents' concerns
about projects undertaken by neighboring communities.
"It may be too late to do something with
regards to these basins but this program could benefit for future
problems," said Landske.
Recently the Lake County Council approved the
basin project over the objection of the county Plan Commission.
Cedar Lake Town Manager Tim Brown explained why
the basins were necessary for the towns rehabilitation process.
"We never really wanted to create an
equalization basin but had to because the sewage flow has been
increasing. There is no way that we can process and maintain what we
have with our current facility because it is practically full. This is
the only way that we and the town of Lowell can move forward."
Lake Dale contributes to the daily sewage to
Construction of the basins is on hold until a
decision is made on Lake Dale's appeal of it.