USD declines free clinic offer from county
By Rod Haxton, editor
It turned out that the county’s offer of a free building to USD 466 (Scott County) wasn’t too good to refuse.
The board of education decided to reject the offer, citing no immediate need for the former Scott City Clinic and not wanting to take on the added costs for upkeep and renovation.
“I’m afraid the clinic will be more of a drain on our finances than a benefit,” said board President Mark Davis during Monday’s meeting.
He said that when it appeared there might be a partner who would also occupy part of the building and taking on some of the cost, then it was an idea worth pursuing. At this time, he considers the proposal a “dead issue.”
Supt. Jamie Rumford offered the same conclusion as the board and administration have looked at the district’s short- and long-term needs over the past few months. His recommendation was also to decline the county’s offer.
Board member Lynnette Robinson wanted the board to reconsider that recommendation, keeping in mind the larger class sizes that are making their way through the elementary school.
“Have you looked at expansion needs in the middle school and the elementary school?” she asked.
In earlier discussions, the board had considered the possibility of moving the fourth grade to the middle school in order to gain additional classroom space at SCES because of larger classes.
“I’m not in favor of moving the fourth grade. That’s a short-term answer,” noted Robinson.
Another option being considered by the board has been to move some classes from SCES into the administration building. That, says Robinson, would require the administration personnel to relocate which is why the district may want to consider accepting the clinic.
Board member Leann Wiechman said SCMS is not being fully utilized at this time. SCMS Principal Jana Irvin said there are currently five empty classrooms. The second grade, with 84 students, is the second largest class in the district. Irvin feels there will be room to accommodate those students when they get into SCMS.
Robinson still questioned whether there would be enough room at SCMS, noting that teachers for grades 6-8 don’t have the space needed for elective classes.
“I’d hate to see us say in two years why did we let that get away from us,” Robinson said. “It’s a good, free building and it doesn’t require a bond issue.”
“But it will require utilities and renovation,” said Davis.
At the same time, he raised doubts about relocating more classes into the administration building. Currently, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes are on the lower level and art classes for all students are offered on the second floor.
“Can you say in two years we won’t be looking for someplace to put our students?” Robinson asked.
“You make plans with the information you have now,” replied Davis.
The board then voted unanimously not to accept the clinic.
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