Possible Design

This drawing represents what the Vermillion School Board has in mind for the possible design of a new elementary school to replace the district’s Jolley and Austin elementary schools. Should a bond issue be approved, the building would be constructed to the west of the Vermillion Middle School. The middle school and new elementary school would be connected.

Even though a global pandemic is still having an effect on the costs of building materials, Tim Schwasinger will point out, that effect is lessening, meaning those costs are begin to come down.

Plus, interest rates are very low. “The silver lining is that it’s a great time to borrow money,” he said at an informational meeting Tuesday night.

In other words, he said, there is no better time to issue bonds to construct a new elementary school in Vermillion.

Schwasinger took the lead during an informational meeting held Tuesday night at Austin Elementary School. The meeting was public, but attracted no citizens from the Vermillion School District other than school faculty, a university dean and a member of the media.

The Vermillion School District has made a strong effort to provide as much information about the upcoming school bond issue as it possibly can. It had a web page designed and gathering input from school district patrons last spring.

The input it received from that web page and from three public meetings held just to discuss the topic of new school construction were deciding factors for the Vermillion School Board last June.

After receiving input from three recent public meetings and also from a special web page that provides detailed information and allows school district patrons to seek answers to questions, the board decided to take action.

In mid-June, the board approved a resolution calling for an Oct. 5 election in which voters living within the school district will be asked to approve a $26 million bond issue to finance the construction of a new elementary school in Vermillion.

Last April, the school board made it known that it would likely ask the public to approve an estimated $26 million bond issue to construct a new elementary school to replace the Jolley and Austin elementary schools.

“For several years, we’ve debated this topic in our facility plan,” said Schwasinger back in April when he was serving on the school board and was a member of the district’s Facilities Studies Committee that had been busy for months reviewing options regarding the Jolley and Austin elementary school buildings.

“The conclusion of the committee has been that it is time to replace those two aging elementary buildings,” he said in April. “What we are proposing and the board will have to make this a formal proposition in months to come as we get through the education process with the community, but we would propose a $26 million bond issue over a 30-year time frame.”

Schwasinger is no longer on the school board; he decided not to seek re-election when his term ended. But he continues in his role as an advocate for the new school, which, should the bond be approved by voters Oct. 5, will be constructed to the west of the Vermillion Middle School and will be connected to that existing building.

“Over this past year, we spent a lot of time with Facilities Committee of the school board, putting pieces together, working on some conceptual drawings ... so that we could propose to the community a $26 million bond issue that would be for 30-year bonds,” he said Tuesday.

Schjwasinger touched a number of topics when discussing various aspects of the bond issue and the proposed new building. He and others are focused on providing as much information as possible to the public.

That info can be found by logging onto this web page: https://vermillionschoolbond.com/

Information will once again be shared publicly at a second meeting 10 a.m. Sept. 25 at the Vermillion Public Library.


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