$28 million worth of work identified at Mishawaka schools

There are no elections scheduled this year for St. Joseph County residents—at least not yet.

Turns out, School City of Mishawaka may elect to put a voter referendum before patrons this November.

Administrators have identified some $28 and a half million worth of needed building repairs or improvements.

“It’s important that you take care of your house, you know, if you have a roof that leaks you need to repair it, because if you let it go, it just gets worse,” said Mishawaka Superintendent of Schools Dr. Terry Barker.

Many of the problems that plague the district aren’t visible to students in the classroom. The superintendent provided one picture that shows the roof of John Young Middle School where roofing membranes are being held down by bricks and two by fours.

Another photo showed an archway at Mishawaka High School where the concrete is cracked and is being held up by two by fours and plywood.

Another picture shows an aging furnace in the bowels of school building and yet another shows a fire alarm panel that is so old --parts are no longer available.

“We can share the story with the community and the community decides how well they're going to take care of their schools. It's as simple as that,” said Dr. Barker. “Our needs are great and we have several things that we need to have repaired and quite honestly we don't receive enough in capital projects funding to be able to address hardly any of it.”

Tonight, Dr. Barker begins the first of seven public meetings on the facility needs of the district. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at Emmons School. Another session is slated for Thursday night at Twin Branch School.

The school board will have to decide by June 1, if it will place the matter before voters in referendum form.

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