Tenth Street school to be razedAugust 24, 2020
By LEANN BURKE
JASPER — Tenth Street Elementary will be torn down to make way for a parking lot.
At its meeting Monday, the Jasper School Board approved several actions that determined the future of the old school building. The school corporation vacated the building — which housed third through fifth grades — after Jasper Elementary School opened this year. The new building houses the preschool through fifth grades that were housed at Fifth and Tenth Street Elementaries.
The first action the board took approved a memorandum of understanding with the Catholic Diocese of Evansville to allow Greater Jasper Schools to continue to use the property. When Dubois County schools consolidated in 1968, the diocese turned the property over to the school corporation with the understanding that if the corporation ever stopped using the property for public school education, it would revert to the diocese. When Tenth Street Elementary closed, the memorandum had to be adjusted to allow the corporation to retain the property and raze the building. The memorandum approved by the board Monday is that update.
Should the school corporation ever stop using Ruxer Field and the parking lot be no longer needed, the property will revert to the diocese, Attorney Art Nordhoff, who represents the school corporation, explained.
The other actions the board took begin the demolition project. First, the board approved a proposal from Gibraltar Design of Indianapolis to develop plans and specifications for the demolition project.
Clerk of the Works Scott Stenftenagel of the Stenftenagel Group explained that details about the building needed to be provided so that the project can go to bid. Those details include information about the building and the materials it's made of, what elevations the site needs to be at once demolition is complete and stormwater drainage information.
"There is quite a bit of work for them to do," Stenftenagel said.
The school corporation has been working with Gibraltar Design on various projects concerning the future of Fifth and Tenth Street elementaries since 2013. At that time, the board undertook a feasibility study to determine what work needed to be done to the two buildings and whether it might be best to build a new school.
Monday night, the board also approved a proposal from Brosmer Land Surveying and Engineering of Jasper to develop plans and specifications for the construction of a parking lot on the site of the school once the building is demolished.
In 2017, Gibraltar Design drew up preliminary drawings of what a parking lot on the property could look like. Those drawings show a 168-spot lot that can be used by the school corporation during baseball games played at Ruxer Field, by the City of Jasper for activities at the nearby tennis courts and by St. Joseph Catholic Church for overflow parking.
An exact timeline for the demolition has not been set, but the project is scheduled to go out for bids on Oct. 26.
The board also discussed the future of Fifth Street Elementary, though no actions were taken Monday night. The school corporation is in conversations with the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition about retaining the 1988 addition of the building. SWICACC is a local nonprofit that serves child victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The portion of the school that dates to 1956 could be razed and converted into parking for nearby Alumni Stadium. Although no final decisions have been made, the school corporation has begun discussions with Schmidt Associates and Brosmer Land Surveying and Engineering for the design of a parking lot on the property, as well as future improvements to the stadium.
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