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|Officials: new school best option
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - School corporation officials and consultants made their
final public pitch for a new high school last week, reiterating their commitment to
borrowing only $64 million and expressing confidence the project can be done for a total
of $68 million.
They said the project is affordable, and is the community's only
realistic option for addressing its school facility problems.
School Board President Jackie Webster said "no other option has
progressed this far over the last 11 years ... and that is because this is the best
According to Superintendent H. Steve Sprunger, residents should see a
total tax increase of 10 to 14 percent, as a result of both the current renovation
projects and the new high school project.
Webster said this would add about 50 cents per day to the average
property tax bill, while the alternative - a thorough renovation and expansion of the
current school - would add 45 cents. And she said the 45 cent figure does not include the
cost of buying additional property around the school.
So the issue isn't how much money will be spent, Webster argued, but
"it comes down to how you want to spend your tax dollars."
Administrators said the new school will be bigger and better than the
current one, with 23 more classrooms; a larger cafeteria, industrial technology department
and physical education area; and a better media center and performing arts wing.
"The design is totally curriculum-driven to meet the needs of all
students," Sprunger said.
"Industrial technology is going to be a state-of-the-art
facility," he said.
The physical education program will add classes and provide fitness
and athletic opportunities for all students, he said, and students in interscholastic
sports will be able to get out of team practices at a reasonable hour.
Music areas are expanded greatly, he added.
The school officials said they held the press conference to clear up
public "misunderstandings" about the project.
The school officials wouldn't say specifically what
"misunderstandings" they believe the public may have, or where these
misunderstandings came from, but their statements were clearly in response to information
put out by the opposition to the new school.
To see entire story, see page 6A of Star
Bishop Kiril of the Macedonian Orthodox Church joins Crown Point Mayor James Metros
(far right) and others at the War Memorial in Crown Point on Saturday. The ceremony
was one of several held during the 25th Annual American Canadian Macedonian Orthodox
Church Convocation held in Northwest Indiana over Labor Day weekend.
Macedonian prime minister eyes business opportunities
|By Karen Caffarini
CROWN POINT - About 100 area businessmen and board members of their
church gathered at Saints Peter and Paul Macedonian Orthodox Cathedral on Monday morning,
anxiously awaiting to embark on what probably would be one of their most memorable events.
They were about to have a personal meeting with the prime minister of
their native Macedonia, Ljubcho Georgievski.
In Northwest Indiana for the 25th annual American Canadian Macedonian
Orthodox Church Convocation, the country's leader utilized the occasion to tout his
country's economic growth opportunities and to ask local businessmen to invest in their
"He's telling the business leaders in our community that
Macedonia has a
|free market open for businesses. He's hoping that the
business people here will invest in that country," said Tomislav Kajmakoski.
Kajmakoski is president of the Crown Point church and host of the
weekend convention that drew about 4,500 people from across America and Canada.
Boris Velovski, a Crown Point resident, board member of the church and
businessman, said the prime minister, who spoke little English, is trying to work with
people in this country on exporting and importing products, and establishing businesses
and banks in Macedonia.
"A lot of people here can do something there. A lot more than you
know," Velovski said.
At a press conference later in the day, Georgievski said he is
encouraging area businesspeople to invest in his country.
|He said the line of communication has been opened and
he believes it will show some results.
Georgievski also talked about how Macedonia is faring after the Kosovo
crisis. Many of the Kosovo refugees fled to the small country of Macedonia during the
"He said things are getting better and better in the old country.
They have no ill feelings toward Americans. They said America was the first to help
them," Kajmakoski said.
Velovski said Georgievski is the first Macedonian prime minister to
visit this area. He was in Northwest Indiana Sunday and Monday to attend the convocation
dinner and banquet.
Lake County's Macedonian population is estimated at 10,000 to 15,000.
Crown Point, which is home to a number of Macedonians, is a sister city to Resen,
Macedonia and hosted the mayor of that city in May 1998.