SYRACUSE — Some of the career and technical education programs of the Pathways Cooperative based at Wawasee High School are either at full capacity or have exceeded it. To address that, the Wawasee school board approved the purchase of three buildings and surrounding property in Syracuse during a special board meeting Tuesday afternoon, June 26, in Syracuse.
Being purchased are three buildings — one main building with two others attached — formerly used by Precision Automotive at 801 S. Sycamore St. Officially the purchase will be made from Sycamore Venture Holdings.
James Flecker, director of personnel and legal services for the Wawasee Community School Corporation, said the estimated cost of the transaction will be $2.2 million, but the exact final price will be determined by an average of two appraisals, which is required by state law. The purchase price includes approximately 10.5 acres of land.
Flecker noted the original intent was to use funds from the sale of 2017 bonds to build a new central office building, but plans changed when the buildings on Sycamore Street became available. Now the central office will be moved there eventually and also some of the CTE programs. Flecker said, for one example, the welding program is already at full capacity in a building just opened earlier this year.
No final decisions have been made on what will be done with the current central office building, though several ideas have been tossed around including leveling it for more parking space, moving the alternative school in, using it for CTE programs and others.
In other business, the board approved entering a one-year agreement with the Parkview Ortho Performance Center to provide a team doctor (Dr. Jeff Hartzell) and a sports medicine physician (Dr. Aaron Watters) for the athletic programs at Wawasee High School. Flecker noted KCH submitted a letter in May saying they will no longer provide those services as of July 1. The current athletic trainer will be kept, he said.
Also on the agenda, the board approved a four-year agreement to use Ready Indiana Math for the new math curriculum for grades kindergarten through eighth. The curriculum includes diagnostic assessment tools, an individual online math piece students can use at their own pace and a core instructional curriculum.
Joy Goshert, assistant superintendent, said there is talk of the state math standards being revamped in a couple of years so it would be a good time to implement the new curriculum. She noted Wawasee teachers seem to be pleased with the Ready Indiana Math curriculum. Board member Don Bokhart said it appears to be a good blend of hands-on and online instruction.
In other business, the board approved receiving a $35,000 grant from the K21 Foundation for heart monitors to be used in physical education classes in all Wawasee schools. The grant request was submitted by Mercedes Pratt, a PE teacher at Milford School, who had originally submitted the request just for Milford School. It was at first denied by K21, but she was asked to submit a request for heart monitors in physical education classes corporation wide and it was approved.
The monitors provide data such as heart rate and calories burned, which can be downloaded and used by teachers, the students and also provided to parents.
Among the personnel requests approved by the board was the retirement of Byron Oswald, head custodian at the high school for the last 24 years and who has 27 years of service total in the school corporation. His retirement will be effective Sept. 28.