Thursday, July 24, 2014

Goshen joint session addresses major projects

Posted on Jan. 23, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

GOSHEN — The Goshen Community Schools board and the city council met Tuesday night for their annual joint session during which they discussed upcoming projects, finances and programs aimed at improving the two entities.

The ability to meet together and share ideas and concerns was appreciated by the two bodies. “I think we have a wonderful community,” Mayor Allan Kauffman said. “I think with all of us working together, I think it bodes well for the community.”

Though there were many items discussed, the major topics included ongoing talks about the proposed Goshen Community Center, the U.S. 33 reconstruction and the Monroe Street sidewalk.

City engineer Mary Cripe said that one of the options for the rerouting of U.S. 33 would be to cut through the schools’ bus parking and running parallel with the train tracks before building an overpass beginning between 10th and 11th streets.

One problem for the schools would be that this route would also cut through the high school baseball diamond, Phend Field. Superintendent Diane Woodworth said that the school is already looking at the site of the former Johnson Controls as a possible relocation spot in the event that the new route for U.S. 33 cuts through the existing field.

Cripe said the state’s final decision on routes is expected this summer.

Cripe also spoke about the Monroe Street sidewalk project. She said the city had hoped to complete construction of the sidewalk before the Elkhart County 4-H Fair in July, but the project has been delayed until after the fair.

The two bodies also talked some about the Goshen Community Center, and more specifically the school’s hope to be able to close their pools to create more space for students.

Woodworth said that if the school board approves its referendum, it would hope to word the question on the ballot in such a way that would allow it to build a pool somewhere on one of the schools’ campuses if the city’s portion of the vote would fail.

The school board will hold its determination hearing on its referendum on Monday.

Woodworth also gave an update on the Horizon Education Alliance.

She said the board, made up of Elkhart County schools’ superintendents and businesspeople, is working to come up with ideas to expand educational opportunities for students in the county and expects to hear some concrete ideas in 2013.

One of the ideas is to coordinate with area colleges to provide high school students opportunities that help lead to degrees in a dual-enrollment fashion.