Janesville47.6°

Evansville School Board nixes land buy

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
November 10, 2009
— A crowd was on hand Monday night as the Evansville School Board voted 4-3 not to buy a house next to J.C. McKenna Middle School.

The purchase and associated costs were put in the $120,000 range.


School Board President Michael Pierick characterized the debate among members of the public and the board as "spirited."


"I think most of the strong feelings in opposition to the purchase of the property were economic ones," Pierick said after the meeting.


Arguments in favor were safety, the added green space for the school and the property's potential as an investment, Pierick said.


Voting to buy the property were board members Tina Rossmiller, Kathi Swanson and Jeff Herbers. Voting against were Pierick, Dennis Hatfield, Melissa Hammann and Sharon Skinner.


But that might not be the end of the issue. Pierick said he and several others suggested considering the purchase during the 2010-11 budgeting process.


Pierick said the district's program-based budgeting process includes much community and staff input and would ask what might be cut from the budget in order to make the purchase a priority.


Pierick said he doesn't know if the home's owners would be interested in selling at a later date.


The district had considered buying the property and razing the house to increase green space and safety in the student drop-off area behind the school.



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