Board candidates agree: Maintain, don’t build

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson school board candidates would rather repair and upgrade existing schools than pursue multimillion-dollar construction projects.

Candidates said they don’t plan to build new schools and instead want to take care of current buildings. They said they saw no need for more buildings and thought voters spoke clearly when they rejected a $26 million plan to build a new elementary school and expand the high school and intermediate school.

They said that the schools now mostly need maintenance projects, such as heating and cooling upgrades. The candidates said they want to minimize the burden to taxpayers while pursuing any improvements.

The school board recently borrowed $2 million to replace Indian Creek High School’s heating system, tiling the high school pool, replacing windows at Indian Creek Middle School, setting up wireless Internet and converting the central office building so it can be used for the district’s alternative education and early college program.

Five candidates are running for three of the five seats on the school board. But one candidate is guaranteed election because of the school district’s bylaws, Johnson County Clerk Sue Ann Misiniec said.

Current board members Greg Waltz, Joey Dallas and former board member Ed Harvey are running for two at-large seats. Every voter in the school district, which includes Nineveh and Hensley townships in southern Johnson County and Jackson Township in Morgan County, gets to vote for two candidates.

But Waltz is guaranteed to be re-elected, even if he gets the least votes of the three, Misiniec said. The real race is between Dallas and Harvey, because only one of those two can serve on the board, she said.

Here’s why: The district’s bylaws say that the board will have a representative from each of the townships and also two at-large members, Misiniec said. But the two at-large members can’t both be from the same township.

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