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Wayne Kramer and Bruce Stahly stand on the bridge at the end of Madison Street with the land for the community center behind them in this Dec. 10, 2012, photo. An area along the Mill Race that Goshen City Street Department occupied is a green area that is planned to be a community center. (Truth Photo By Larry Tebo) (AP)
Board to vote on renovations Monday

Posted on Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:33 p.m.

GOSHEN — The Goshen School Board will vote Monday evening whether to allow an item on a special election ballot that, if approved by voters, would allow the school system to renovate parts of the high school and middle school buildings and contribute to a possible Goshen Community Center.

Plans for the $26.7 million Goshen Community Center call for an aquatic center with a recreation pool, a competition pool, a gymnasium, fitness center and meeting space for community use.

If the center is built, Goshen Community Schools would use that facility for its swimming and aquatics programs and renovate the pool space at Goshen Middle School and Goshen High School for other uses.

The high school’s pool area would become a fitness/weight area, according to Goshen Superintendent Diane Woodworth. The high school would also add on a new music area and remodel the existing music area.

Goshen Middle School’s pool space would become a band room. The current band room would become a new orchestra room, while the current orchestra room would become special education classrooms, according to Goshen Superintendent Diane Woodworth. A new fitness area would also be added along with a new food preparation area in the cafeteria.

Any leftover funds from those projects would go to help replace Phend Field, Goshen High School’s baseball diamond, which could be forced to move if the possible U.S. 33 relocation cuts through the current baseball field.

If approved by the school board and by the Department of Local Government Finance, the referendum on the May 7 special ballot would ask voters to allow Goshen Community Schools to issue up to $10 million in bonds to either contribute to the construction of the community center or to build a pool structure at one of Goshen Schools’ properties, with an additional $7.15 million for renovations at the middle and high school, according to Woodworth.

That allows the school corporation a way to use those funds for a pool on its own property if the community center doesn’t happen.

The Goshen City Council approved placing referendum on the ballot at its Jan. 15 meeting. Bruce Stahly, organizer of the community center and former Goshen superintendent, said in December that both items on the ballot would need to pass for the community center to move forward.

But first, the Goshen School Board needs to vote on if the referendum even makes it onto the special election ballot.

That project and preliminary determination hearing will be during the regular school board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at Goshen Community Schools’ administration building, 613 E. Purl St.

People can access the meeting’s agenda, along with the proposed project resolutions and referendum timeline at http://www.goshenschools.org/public-records/school-board-meeting-agenda-minutes/.