Voting in $28M referendum would land Ivy Tech

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CiN-0507-final03Noblesville is one of seven school districts, including Hamilton Southeastern, which will hold a special referendum vote Tuesday. Unlike the other Indiana school districts, voters will impact not only Noblesville’s plans for the future but Hamilton County’s.

The $28-million referendum allows the district to finance the construction of safety and security improvements to multiple buildings, build additions at Noblesville High School and transform the Freshman Campus into a middle school. While the ballot question does not state it, the other portion of the referendum is selling Noblesville East Middle School to Hamilton County, which will lease the building to Ivy Tech for $1.

“Ivy Tech plans to have a major Central Indiana campus in Hamilton County. Every city in Hamilton County has been trying to recruit Ivy Tech,” Noblesville Schools Supt. Libbie Conner said. “They came to us really wanting to be in Noblesville. It’s an incredible opportunity for us in Noblesville even though it will serve Hamilton County.”

The referendum allows the district to lose an asset that’s becoming more of a liability. Noblesville East Middle School was built in 1954, had its last major addition in 1984 and currently has 22 different roof sections.

“Its needing major, major renovation,” Conner said. “A facility study said to bring it up to middle school standards would cost $17 million.”

Construction at the high school will add 157,000 square feet and cost $22,628,161. The Freshman Campus will add 88,759 square feet and cost $15,535,174. NEMS is approximately 250,000 square feet.

“It’s more efficient space. We’re adding almost as much square footage as we’re losing,” School board vice president Julia Kozicki said.

Financing and soft costs add another $4,325,100, making the total price tag $39,498,435. Hamilton County and the City of Noblesville will pay $14.5 million for the sale of NEMS, cutting the price down to $25 million.

The $28-million project includes $3 million to refinance existing bonds, thus saving the taxpayer in the long run. Projected costs range from 4.5 cents to 10 cents per $100 assessed value based on the year. Figures are based at a bond interest rate of 5 percent, while the current rate is 1.75 percent.

Noblesville Schools’ strategic plan has freshman returning to an expanded high school building. Plans call for adding more physical education locker rooms, classrooms and expanding the performing arts, which is gaining in popularity with students. The freshman campus will transform back into a middle school, which is what it was years ago.

“We are able to expand and renovate a building with good bones and get a larger-term use for less money then we’d put into the (NEMS) building,” Conner said. “It’s an effective and efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars.”

Despite selling NEMS, the district will retain possession of Hare Chevrolet Field and use of the parking lot. Conner added that the gymnasium will have its history preserved and Ivy Tech plans to open it and the auditorium to the community.

“Ivy Tech is very community minded,” she said. “They are very open to the community using the facilities when they are not using them.”

Ivy Tech officials said this campus will be a full service one with student advisement, student aide, library, a basketball team and science labs. In addition to having an economic impact, Ivy Tech would help to retrain employees and provide much-needed skills to younger people not going to college. It also allows college students the opportunity to live and work in Noblesville while earning credits, degrees and job certifications at a discounted price per credit hour. Kozicki said senior citizens can attend classes for free.

If the referendum passes, Conner said NEMS will still house students for the 2013-2014 school year and Ivy Tech would take control of the building on June 1, 2014.

If the referendum is defeated, Noblesville Schools will continue at “status quo” and the city would forfeit the opportunity to bring Ivy Tech to the community. Conner said the district would have to turn to general obligation bonds to make the critical repairs at NEMS, which would cost $17 million.

“A split campus would not allow us to move programs forward like we’d like to,” Conner said, adding that portables would be added at the high school for increased enrollment.

The last referendum, a requirement by the state for major funding initiatives of school districts, occurred in 2010 during the primary election. Kozicki said when Noblesville Schools had its first special election in January 2009, only 3,600 residents voted – defeating the proposal 1880 to 1799.

Noblesville Question:

“Shall Noblesville Schools issue bonds or enter into a lease to finance the construction of safety and security improvements to school facilities within the school district; construction of an addition to and the retrofit of the Noblesville Freshmen Center for use as a middle school; construction of an addition and improvements to the Noblesville High School in order to accommodate freshmen students; construction of improvements to the Noblesville Schools’ campus including site and related facilities located thereon and the purchase of real estate and development of real estate for any necessary relocation of facilities, which is estimated to cost not more than $28,000,000 and is estimated to increase the property tax rate for debt service by a maximum of $0.10 per $100 of assessed value?”

Noblesville Polling Places

0601 Noblesville 01

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church

9900 E. 191st St.

Community Room

 

0602 Noblesville 02

Worship Center of Hamilton County

2200 Sheridan Rd.

Worship Center

 

0603 Noblesville 03

Noblesville Fire Station 76

16800 Hazel Dell Rd.

Community/Training Room

 

0604 Noblesville 04

Emmanuel United Methodist Church

16000 Cumberland Rd.

Fellowship Hall

 

0605 Noblesville 05

Forest Park Inn

701 Cicero Rd.

Overlook Room

 

0606 Noblesville 06

Wastewater Administration Building

197 W. Washington St.

Conference Room

 

0607 Noblesville 07

The Worship Center of Hamilton County

2200 Sheridan Rd.

Worship Center

 

0608 Noblesville 08

First Christian Church

16377 Herriman Blvd.

Narthex/Foyer

 

0609 Noblesville 09

First Presbyterian Church

1207 E. Conner St.

Fellowship Hall

 

0610 Noblesville 10

Christ Community Christian Church

772 N. 10th St.

Fellowship Hall

 

0611 Noblesville 11

Noblesville Fire Station 76

16800 Hazel Dell Rd.

Community/Training Room

 

0612 Noblesville 12

Hamilton County Government/Judicial Center

1 Hamilton County Square

Eighth St. Entrance/Conference Room

 

0613 Noblesville 13

Noblesville High School Freshman Campus

1625 Field Dr.

East Gym

 

0614 Noblesville 14

Noblesville Fire Station 74

20777 Hague Rd.

Bay Area

 

0615 Noblesville 15

Bethel Lutheran Church

20650 Cumberland Rd.

Fellowship Hall

 

0616 Noblesville 16

Noblesville Fire Station 72

400 South Harbour Dr.

Bay Area

 

0617 Noblesville 17

The Worship Center of Hamilton County

2200 Sheridan Rd.

Worship Center

 

0618 Noblesville 18

White Rock Fellowship Ministry Center

21070 Schulley Rd.

Large Meeting Room

 

0619 Noblesville 19

Green Valley Church of Christ

19005 Cumberland Rd.

Lobby

 

0620 Noblesville 20

Northlake Village Apartments

1100 Northlake Dr.

Leasing Office/Clubhouse

 

0621 Noblesville 21

Noblesville Fire Station 73

2101 Greenfield Ave.

Bay Area

 

0622 Noblesville 22

River’s Edge Apartments

870 Watermead Dr.

Clubhouse

 

0623 Noblesville 23

Osprey Point at Morse Beach

19777 Morse Park Lane

Main Room

 

0624 Noblesville 24

White Rock Fellowship Ministry Center

21070 Schulley Rd.

Large Meeting Room

 

0625 Noblesville 25

White Rock Fellowship Ministry Center

21070 Schulley Rd.

Large Meeting Room

 

0626 Noblesville 26

Third Phase, Inc.

15755 Allisonville Rd.

Room

 

0627 Noblesville 27

The Worship Center of Hamilton County

2200 Sheridan Rd.

Worship Center

 

0628 Noblesville 28

Green Valley Church of Christ

19005 Cumberland Rd.

Auditorium

 

0629 Noblesville 29

Green Valley Church of Christ

19005 Cumberland Rd.

Auditorium

 

0630 Noblesville 30

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church

444 South Harbour Dr.

Sanctuary

 

0631 Noblesville 31

Janus Developmental Services, Inc.

1555 Westfield Blvd.

Classroom

 

0632 Noblesville 32

Emmanuel United Methodist Church

16000 Cumberland Rd.

Fellowship Hall

 

0633 Noblesville 33

Grace Community Church

5504 E. 146th St.

Central Auditorium

 

0634 Noblesville 34

Grace Community Church

5504 E. 146th St.

Central Auditorium

 

0636 Noblesville 36

St Michael’s Episcopal Church

444 South Harbour Dr.

Sanctuary

 

0637 Noblesville 37

Noblesville Fire Station 75

10170 E. 191st St.

Bay Area

 

0638 Noblesville 38

Emmanuel United Methodist Church

16000 Cumberland Rd.

Fellowship Hall

 

0639 Noblesville 39

Meredith Meadows Apt. Clubhouse

15367 Meredith Meadows Dr. East

Left Side


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