Oakland HS recognized by state; Board awards $800,000 roofing bid


LAFAYETTE, Indiana – The Lafayette School Corporation has passed two resolutions aimed at addressing two issues that could become significant.

The first: replacing some roofs at Murdock Elementary School and Jefferson High School. The second concerns the need for nurses across the district.

Fastening of the roofs

Last year, Murdock Elementary School suffered a major roof leak after a snowstorm hit the town.

As temperatures warmed, the excess snow on the roof began to melt, causing a number of classrooms and hallways to become soggy and damp.

Although the school initially provided a temporary solution to the problem, they eventually approved an emergency project to replace the canopy on the affected side of the school.

The March resolutions aimed to address an area in the school that needed reconsideration.

Prior to the 2022 repair, much of the roof was replaced in 2014, with the exception of a classroom which is adjacent to the 2022 repairs. This is the area that the school board wants to address.

At Jefferson High School, the school board noticed that the roof over the school kitchen, cafeteria, and radio station showed signs of leaking.

To forestall this problem, the school board awarded the contract to replace Jeff’s roof.

The school board hired Smither Roofing, an Indianapolis-based company, to address both issues.

Smither Roofing offered a bid of $889,900, which was the lowest offer from a “reliable” contractor, said Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Les Huddle.

The Board of Directors unanimously approved the resolution.

need for nurses

The district is seeing a growing need for nurses at every school, so the school board approved a letter of intent with the Tippecanoe County Health Department.

The county agreed that the school’s health department will provide a replacement if the school district needs a nurse. It can be temporary, when a nurse calls in sick for a day, or long-term, when a nurse quits.

“Although we’ve been fortunate to have nurses in all of our school buildings, sometimes they’re sick, sometimes they quit for whatever reason, and it’s very difficult to find nurses right now,” Huddle said.

The Board of Directors unanimously approved the resolution.

During the staff and student recognition portion of the meeting, it was announced that Oakland Academy had been officially recognized by the Indiana Department of Education as an alternative education program.

Oakland Academy has acted as an extension of Jeff for a number of years. The goal of the academy was to provide some students with an alternative way to complete their high school education.

Recognition means that the state is beginning to allocate additional funds. The school receives an additional $500 per student and is eligible to apply for government grants for alternative education.

“The unity and family connection at Oakland Academy is evident through testimonies from students, teachers, families and community members. Ensuring students get what they need by being placed in a location that suits them is clearly the goal here. The partnerships and the focus on individualized services are outstanding. This is an opportunity that should be cherished by the entire community,” the state’s approval letter said.

Noe Padilla is a reporter for the Journal & Courier. Email him at Npadilla@jconline.com and follow him on Twitter at 1NoePadilla.