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Mishawaka school board will keep working with consulting firm

Tuesday night the Board of Trustees for School city of Mishawaka approved an agreement to continue work with a consulting firm regarding the school's financial needs.

According to board president Jeffery Emmons, some details still have to be worked out.

But the hope of the board is that the recommendations of Speicher Fields and Associates consulting firm can help them push forward another referendum of needs to the ballot box in May of 2016.

They are also hoping to have their financial needs evaluated. School City of Mishawaka is in debt.

According to the board of trustees, the firm will form a collaborative committee of up to 11 persons to go through suggestions of committees from previous referendum research.

“The collaborative committee is going to look at them and prioritize them," said consulting firm head Dr. A. Dean Speicher. "Then, we'll bring it together.”

Speicher Fields and Associates will then put forth their own recommendations on what he calls critical needs, including technology, school building infrastructure and security.

“It's not that the schools are unsafe," said Speicher. "But you always want to be prepared to make sure that you have done everything to have your buildings as safe as they can be.”

The committee will include members of the Mishawaka community to foster transparency and community involvement.

“This gives us an ability to be right with the community and allow them to see the workings of school, city and what we are pursuing and how we are doing it and what our needs are," said board president Emmens.

School City of Mishawka will be paying for these consulting services.

Emmens says he can't give any details on how much that will cost because it hasn't been finalized yet. But he says the expense is more than necessary.

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