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MCCSC school board approves school expansion, appoints new member


Jacinda Townsend Gides recites an oath at the Monroe County Community School Corporation school board meeting Jan. 28 at the MCCSC administration office.Townsend Gides was elected as the District 6 representative to the MCCSC school board. Colin Kulpa

The Monroe County Community School Corporation Board of Trustees approved a nearly $1.5 million construction contract at its meeting Tuesday night to go toward four new classrooms at Summit Elementary School. 

John Kenny, director of business operations for MCCSC, introduced the contract and explained it is necessary to help offset potential overcrowding at the school. 

Kenny said overcrowding isn’t the issue yet, but there isn’t sufficient room for the number of students, so adding more classrooms will create a better teaching environment.

“Teachers have been having to teach in non-classrooms,” Kenny said.

Kenny said teachers have been having to teach in non-classrooms, which are rooms not typically used for teaching, such as libraries, offices or gymnasiums.

Construction will be contracted through C.H. Garmong & Son, Inc., a construction provider, according to the school board’s agenda. It will cost $1,427,430. Construction is anticipated to last five months.

Despite the high-price construction contract, newly appointed District 6 board member Jacinda Townsend Gides was the star of Tuesday night’s meeting. The meeting began with a crowded boardroom that dwindled after Gides was sworn in.

Gide's district encompasses east-central Bloomington, which is the area near University Elementary School and Bruster’s Ice Cream.

She said she wants to listen to community members and bring their concerns to the board. She wants to be able to communicate board decisions and issues directly to the community and said she is thinking of speaking directly with school principals in her district to keep the community informed.

Gides has lived in Bloomington since 2011. She said she moved away briefly in 2016 and decided to come back to Bloomington with her family because of how great MCCSC was with her children.

Board members serve four-year terms, according to the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s website. They are paid $2,000 annually, plus $112 each regular meeting.

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