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Student, superintendent share thoughts on plans for elementary outdoor space


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Caroline West, 9, left, Hannah Harris, 10, Hannah Larson, 8, Jocelyn Carroll, 9, and Jocelyn Maynard, 12, complete a lap around the track Wednesday during Girls On the Run at Southside Elementary.
Caroline West, 9, left, Hannah Harris, 10, Hannah Larson, 8, Jocelyn Carroll, 9, and Jocelyn Maynard, 12, complete a lap around the track Wednesday during Girls On the Run at Southside Elementary.


The following exchange is between Savannah Wells, a student at Southside Elementary School, and John Quick, superintendent of Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.

Dear BCSC and Board of Directors in The Republic,

Hi! My name is Savannah Wells. I am a member of Southside Elementary School.

I also do Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run is a great program, and we use the track to run and have fun.

I am worried that the walking path won’t be as good as the track for Girls on the Run. The track helps Girls on the Run tremendously, and I would hate to see it go.

We really need the track, but if we have to get rid of the track then we want the space to be big enough for other programs that use the track.

—Savannah Wells

Columbus

Dear Savannah,

Thank you for your letter.

I hope fourth grade is going well. I taught fourth grade for four years. I really liked Indiana history.

We share the same goal in providing great outdoor space for the students at Southside Elementary.

Mr. Backmeyer and the architect are moving from conceptual phase to design phase for the project. Part of that work is to gather input from those closest to the issue. Those sessions at Southside may happen as early as this week.

The design and bidding process will take some months to complete. And we hope to move forward with the concept at the next school board meeting so the architect can do the design work.

Among the points we will try to communicate:

We are using 2.3 acres of green space now.

We will have 4.0 acres of green space when done, some of which will be irrigated.

We will provide green space during construction.

Drainage will be improved, and thus the existing conditions will be improved.

Some of the old track is preserved (west sprint lanes).

The new walking track, while not as wide as the old, is much more than a single lane and will serve Girls on the Run well.

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