Last night, the Greater Jasper Consolidated School board recieved a feasibility study and presentation from Jim Thompson of Indianapolis-based Gilbraltar Design.

Gilbraltar has a team that has been conducting a feesabilty study on the corporation’s three elementary schools: 5th Street, 10th Street, and Ireland Elementaries.

Earlier this year school officials felt it was clear that from a programming as well as a mechanical standpoint, the corporation’s three elementary schools were in need of attention. Over crowding and building issues are at the forefront of the problems.

The feasibility study presented to the board last night will allow school board members and corporation officials to look at each facility comprehensively.

Greater Jasper superintendent Dr. Tracy Lorey says none of the corporation’s elementary schools have recieved any substantial improvement in the last 20 years:

A work session was held back on May 6th between representatives from Gibraltar, the board, school administrators, and faculty and staff from each elementary school where limitations were looked at each school.

During that workshop Thompson told the board that all three elementary schools failed to meet the recommended building size requirements for the current student population.

Thompson presented three construction options during the May session, any of which, if adopted, would result in the closure of 10th Street Elementary. Thompson explained to the board that Gibralar’s recommendations for the future don’t include 10th Street elementary because of its limitations on expansion. These limitations include the school district owning little if any of the land surrounding the 10th street building, limited parking, and student drop-off being on a city street.

Lorey says the report presented to the board is only the beginning as the corporation and community decides on the future of elementary education in the district:

Lorey says more work sessions are planned for the future, perhaps in late July or August to allow more conversation between Gibraltar and school officials and staff. Later sessions will be held to invite the public to hear what the feasability study says what the school’s needs are and chime in on their thoughts and ideas on the proposed project.