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Gary Roosevelt High School

Gary residents will learn costs of keeping district schools open

Contributed By:The 411 News

Roosevelt alumni will get answers on costs to repair closed school

The Gary school district’s emergency manager wants the public to know how much it costs to operate its buildings.

Where the money comes from and how much the district has to spend on upkeep and maintenance will be delivered by Eric Parish at a public meeting set for Tuesday, July 16 at the Gary Career Center.

Parish leads the finance side of the emergency management team from MGT Consulting that manages the now state-run school district.

It’s not often the public hears from Parish. They know much better Dr. Pete Morikis, the district’s academic leader on the MGT team.

The public meeting to discuss the operational costs of all buildings the district owns, including Roosevelt, comes after the emergency manager has had numerous inquiries from the community. Parish said the meeting “… is an effort to address inquiries around buildings from community stakeholders in a comprehensive and transparent manner. Marshall Emerson and the team from EdisonLearning will also attend.”

EdisonLearning is the state’s partner managing Roosevelt’s academic program. Emerson is the district superintendent for EdisonLearning’s schools in northern Indiana and Illinois.

Roosevelt alumni have raised the level of concern for the future of the school.

Costs to maintain its buildings have nagged the cash-strapped district for years, but the upkeep of Roosevelt has become unmanageable. The building ceased housing students in January due to the severe winter weather that knocked out its heating system.

Roosevelt students finished the school year at the Gary Career Center and that’s where their classes will resume when the new school year starts in August.

Alumni were alarmed back in March when they met with EdisonLearning and Dr. Morikis and were asked to help garner financial support from the community to help save Roosevelt. They were promised and are still waiting on the costs to fix the heating system.

Parish said those costs will be made known at the July 16th meeting. The public will learn all school buildings, including Roosevelt’s deferred maintenance and repair needs. They will also learn the status of Roosevelt including estimated cost for repairs and student relocation to the Gary Career Center.

Alumni have formed the Gary Theodore Roosevelt Community Organization. Among their missions is to take ownership of the building if it no longer operates as a school.

Story Posted:07/09/2019

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