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Lakeland looking to build new admin center


The Lakeland School Board voted Monday evening to move ahead with design plans for a new administration center to be located on the high school campus.

The board was presented with the proposal by Ft. Wayne architect Kari Vilamaa. The site plan calls for the building to be placed next to the southeast corner of the high school’s south parking lot. The building would have a conference/meeting room similar in size to the current one, as well as a reception area and six offices.

Vilamaa pointed out that the current building, located behind Parkside Elementary, is not ADA compliant in many aspects. The new building would be more accessible as well as more visible to the public.

It was also noted that the new building would include a secure file storage area for personnel files.

If built, the current administration center would remain in place and would be used by the school’s technology department, which is currently housed in the building’s basement.

The designs presented included an array of environmentally friendly “green” features, including solar panels, geothermal, grass roofing, and more.

No decision was made on a design, but the board indicated which proposals they liked as well as discussion on the cost of some of the various environmental features.

Following the presentation, the board voted to approve a contract with Barton Coe Vilamaa Architects and Engineers, as well as a contract with Ice Miller as bond counsel.

No cost or timeline for the project was given at Monday’s meeting.

In other business:

The board approved reinstating the Elementary Rocker Club stipend, starting with Wolcott Mills. Principal Brad Targgart told the board that they have 25 students interested in the club.

The board received a report that an energy assessment of Parkside Elementary has been completed. Although there are some items that could be done both short- and long-term to make the building more energy efficient – primarily replacing light fixtures – the building currently qualifies for an Energy Star rating. “We can be more efficient,” Corporation Business Manager Cathy Phillip told the board. “But we’re close for a building that we upgraded in 1999 and 2000.”

The board approved 2012-2013 staff wages for classified, administrative and superintendent positions. Classified staff will see a 50¢ per hour increase for hourly wages or a $1,000 annual increase for salaried positions. Administration positions and the superintendent will also see a $1,000 increase for the year.

The board reappointed Sue Pipher as the district’s representative to the LaGrange County Library Board.