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Local schools eye long-term capital plans

From major construction projects to minor renovations, both Troy City and Pike County Schools have approved long-term plans for improvements.

For Pike County Schools, Superintendent Mark Bazzell said first on the list for the five-year plan is to complete construction on the Agriscience Academy Barn in Goshen.

Bazzell said the barn is a project that has been funded through grant money, which is why it will take priority in the capital plan.

“The grant was for a barn to hold livestock in and other large animals that would be used for instructional purposes,” Bazzell said. “We also have kids that show their cows and also have some animals the kids would work with for their equestrian activities.”

Bazzell said the project is expected to be underway by the beginning of the year.

In Troy City Schools System, first on the list is to construct a new Board of Education office.

“We need a new central office because of space and the building is old,” said Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith. “It has been renovated numerous times.”

The current office, which is located next to the old Elm Street school, occupies the top floor of a building that once housed the city’s Recreation Department.

Felton-Smith said the school system has estimated costs of renovating the old recreation center, but it would be more expensive than purchasing a new location.

“The costs to do renovations downstairs is very costly,” Felton-Smith said. “If you are going to put that much money into renovations, then it is more feasible to do a new central office, and design it to carry out the programs that are needed.”

Felton-Smith said they are waiting on the city of Troy to determine the location for a new library before they decide where to move the new central office.

“All we know is we need a new central office, and we are waiting on the city to decide what they are going to do in terms of the public library,” Felton-Smith said.

Both school plans also include several other changes within the coming years.

During this fiscal year, Bazzell said the school system has budgeted to put new roofing and floor covering in some of the schools and to build a new gymnasium at Goshen High School.

“We’ve outgrown the current facility and it’s a situation now where it’s become a safety hazard,” Bazzell said.

Other projects on the plan include window replacements, a new band room and an upgraded field house at Pike County High School.

Bazzell said a possible project will be the construction of an Early Childhood Center at Goshen Elementary if enrollment continues at its current pace.

For Troy City Schools, Felton-Smith said other projects on the capital plan include replacing the bleachers and building a cafeteria at Charles Henderson High School and adding classrooms with bathrooms at Troy Elementary School.

State law requires these plans, which are reviewed each year, and they can be changed, reprioritized or added to with board approval.