School district looking to build new Hums Elementary School

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 11:45 PM EST
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - The Mishawaka School Board hosted a special meeting Wednesday night to discuss building a new Hums Elementary School.

The new building would be right next door to the current building on Harrison Road.

Since 2016, the district’s high-priority facility needs workgroup has expressed several concerns with the building, like ongoing water issues and flooding.

The school, which was built in 1973, also has an open-concept design, which school officials say is not ideal for learning.

“A lot of the challenges we have with Hums really comes back to how it was designed and built originally...We have discovered that it’s better to have students isolated by grade level with their teacher, and they have since put walls in at Hums, but there is still issues with sound that travels over those walls. It’s somewhat noisy from one classroom to another, and the learning environment is not exactly ideal,” said Doctor Theodore Stevens, who is the superintendent of School City of Mishawaka.

Some residents said, “A new building is what we need.”

Others are worried about how this might impact their taxes.

“So, the piece we want folks to understand is if we were to move forward with this, their tax rate would remain the same,” said Stevens.

Fanning Howey and Baker Tilly shared information about the project and said a new building would cost roughly $38 million.

“In terms of the staff here at Hums, they are very positive about it because they certainly see the need and believe that there is a need from the academic side...We really need to get the community involved and see what the community thinks and how they feel about that,” Stevens said.

If the school board decides to move forward with the project, they will vote on it at a later date.