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FCSC Board of School Trustees seeking input about Building's Future

There are some answers being sought in relation to the Resource Center building located at 16th and Grand Ave.

At the April 13th Fayette County Board of School Trustees meeting, Superintendent Scott Collins provided updated information regarding the vacant building.

This building was connected to the Junior High South building prior to the fire that destroyed the main school building nearly 40 years ago. The building sat empty after the fire for most of the 1980s with several ideas proposed for its future.

Records maintained in the superintendent’s office about the building’s history after the fire destroyed the main school building indicated that there were multiple ideas presented to the FCSC School Board during that time period.

Shortly after the fire, a company tried to purchase the building and have the property rezoned to allow for the building of a retail grocery store.

The Area Planning Commission at that time did not approve the rezoning, however, so the sale of the property did not occur.

After that rezoning request was denied in 1982, the building sat empty until 1988 when the FCSC Administration and School Board made a decision to reopen the building. There were plans to update and renovate all three floors of the building; however, the building was only partially renovated with work completed on the first and second floors.

Since that decision was made in 1988, the East Central Education Service Center, Head Start Staff, and Title One Staff have utilized the building.

Those staffs have all left the building since that time, however.

As Fayette County School Corporation has experienced a steady decline in student enrollment over the last two decades, two schools have been closed and one repurposed into an Early Learning Center. The East Central Education Center relocated to the office area at the old D & M building and shares space with other organizations such as Ivy Tech, Work One, and the Adult Education Program.

The Head Start staff moved to the Little Spartan Preschool building, which was previously Maplewood Elementary, two years ago, and the Title One staff moved to the CHS campus.

In the early part of 2020, discussions with the School Board began regarding the future of the Resource Center Building.

According to recent research, the building has many areas that need addressed to keep it maintained that will require significant tax-funded dollars.

Areas that need work include the roof, foundation and parking lot, HVAC, ADA compliance, gymnasium floor repair, and door and window repair.

“Fayette County School Corporation needs to determine the future of the building as it sits empty and continues to slowly deteriorate and become vandalized while the district spends over $15,000 per year to keep utilities connected and to maintain the building and grounds in an acceptable manner,” Collins said.

Since the discussions about the future of the building began 15 months ago, there has been some limited interest from three different people about acquiring the building.

Currently, there are two people who are interested in the building.

“The school board, however, would like to provide one last opportunity to hear from any interested parties regarding the possible future of this building,” Collins said. “The School Board approved the Administration to seek bids for demolition of the building to determine what the cost would be.”

That does not mean that the FCSC has already made the decision to demolish the building.

“We would like to provide any interested individuals or groups an opportunity to present their proposals to the School Board at the May 11th Board meeting,” Collins said. “The two interested parties will be notified about this meeting and the School Board is asking that any other interested parties notify the Office of the Superintendent of their interest in presenting a plan to the School Board at the May 11th meeting by Monday, May 3rd.”

The May 11th School Board meeting will be held at the Administration Building at 1401 Spartan Drive at 6:30 p.m.

Any interested parties should call the Administration Building at 765-825-2178 by May 3rd and request to speak with Cindy Lynch to notify her of their intent to be placed on the agenda for the May 11th meeting.

The School Board and Administration will listen to each proposal at this meeting. Proposals should include the following information when presented to the School Board:

Name of the organization

Proposed use and purpose of the Building and/or Land with details as to how it will be utilized to improve our community

Timeline for acquiring the building and making necessary improvements

Funding sources for acquiring and maintaining the building to ensure that the building and grounds will be maintained and not have a negative impact on the neighborhood surrounding it

If there are additional questions, please do not hesitate to call the Office of the Superintendent by May 3rd.


A fire on Tuesday at 3719 south county road 350 east is still under investigation by the state fire marshall’s office, the Everton Fire Department, the Connersivlle fire department, and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department. Units fighting the blaze in the early morning hours were from Everton, Bentonville, Glenwood, Liberty, Blooming Grove and Connersville. The Fayette County Sheriff’s department, Fayette County EMS, and the State Fire Marshall’s office were also on the scene. No injuries were reported.

Under investigation


News
Remembering ... Eddies Market

‘Straight down and straight back” was the instruction given to a 5-year-old son by his father on a sunny spring morning 1970. The son was handed a one dollar bill and told to go to the corner store and bring back a dozen ‘SAPS’ donuts.

The name of the corner store was ‘Eddies Market’ and the son was me. So many things about this seems odd today.

A father sending a 5-year-old to the store alone?

A dozen donuts for one dollar?

This was a different time. This was a time when markets were in nearly every neighborhood and our corner store was one of the best. Eddie Maas and his wife Naomi owned the market and they certainly felt like family.

The whack of the wooden screen door announced each customers entrance and a smile from Naomi was ready and waiting and Eddies greeting of “Hey chief” was the standard, as he manned the meat counter in the back.

His wife would patiently wait as the youngsters dug through the penny candy bowl looking for their favorites. One cannot forget the smells of freshly cut meat and the hot newly delivered bakery items.

There were four markets within several blocks of our family home at 1902 Ohio avenue, but Eddies was our choice because it was on the way to school and because of the friendly surroundings.

The Maas family had purchased the store in the mid 1960s from Carlos Matney who ran the store from 1935 until Eddie purchased it. Prior to that it had been Shields grocery and also owned for a time by Eugene Lingenfelser.

The store was established in 1918 by Mr. Charles Simmons and its very last owner was Sam Creech. Eventually it became a pizza place and the Faw family had The Pizza Place there before moving to its present location.

In the early days of the store there was a living quarters in the back and families lived on site. The lay of the land was much different in those days. Park road was much narrower and there was a train that passed each day just a few feet from the building.

In those days, Ohio Avenue was connected to Central Avenue at the ‘y’ or the point as some called it. Max Walters told a story in a News Examiner column he wrote in the !970s about a time a delivery truck was parked on the train track temporarily, and the train came along and knocked the truck through the wall of the store and crushed Carlos Matney’s leg. Luckily he recovered and had a long career as a storekeeper continuing on for another 22 years at the store.

Prior to owning the market Edward Maas was a meat cutter and head of the meat department at The A&P Tea Company nearby on Eastern avenue presently the local office of Indiana division of family services.

After the A&P moved to its new location near Kunkels in the shopping center the old A&P became the U.A.W. union hall for many years.

After selling the store to Sam Creech, Eddie and Naomi retired and lived on elephant hill road. Naomi passed away in 2003 at age 84 and Eddie followed in 2006 at age 90.

The fast pace of life changed our way of living and “supermarkets” became the new normal. How wonderful to remember a time when people like Eddie and Naomi Maas made our neighborhoods a great place to live and raise a family.


News
Local accident claims life of 18-year old

Thursday morning around 3:35 a.m., the Connersville Police Department responded to the 900 block of west 8th Street, in reference to a personal injury accident.

Upon arrival, officers located a passenger car that had exited the roadway and struck a tree. Officers observed there to be three male passengers inside of the vehicle.

It was learned that the vehicle was being driven by Benjamin Fields, 28, of Connersville. Also present inside the vehicle were Joseph Hux, 53 and Brayden Moore, 18 both from Connersville as well.

Emergency personnel from Connersville Fire and Fayette County EMS arrived and began extrication and life saving measures on the occupants. Both Hux and Fields were transported by medical helicopter to Indianapolis hospitals for advanced trauma care, their status at this time is unknown. The other occupant, Moore, was pronounced as deceased on scene.

The Fayette County Coroner’s Office was contacted and Coroner Cord Coyle responded to the scene. At that time, the Indiana State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit was called to investigate the cause of the accident.

There has been no determination in the cause for the crash and this investigation is ongoing.


News
Hoosier History

WILBUR WRIGHT

1867 – Wilbur Wright was born near Millville in Henry County. His father, Milton Wright, was a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. The family moved several times, ending up in Dayton, Ohio, where Wilbur and his brother Orville conducted experiments which made aviation history.

WEST BADEN

1903 – Indiana Governor Winfield T. Durbin and United States Senator Charles W. Fairbanks led the grand opening of the West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World,” the circular structure encompassed the largest unsupported dome in the world. Palm trees grew in the atrium. With over 500 rooms, the venue offered a gambling casino, movies, bowling, and billiards. A primary attraction were the mineral baths which many believed could cure a variety of ailments.

CHARLES JEWETT 100 years ago

1921 – Indianapolis Mayor Charles W. Jewett said, “There is no place in this city for a Ku Klux Klan organization or any other organization designed to create antagonism between citizens. He was responding to newspaper reports that the Klan was organizing in the area. “All have the right to enjoy the peaceful pursuits of happiness,” he said, “and have the full protection of the government in this enjoyment.”

FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF

1945 – Flags at the Indiana Statehouse were lowered to half-staff following news of the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Governor Ralph F. Gates sent a telegram to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt extending the sympathy of the people of Indiana. He pledged loyal support of all Hoosiers for the new President, Harry S. Truman.

BRENDA STARR

1964 – Dale Messick was the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Women’s Press Club in Indianapolis. Born in South Bend, she was America’s first syndicated female cartoonist. Her “Brenda Starr, Reporter” comic strip appeared daily in 250 newspapers. Millions of readers followed the adventures of the glamorous newspaper reporter who chased stories around the world.

MARKET SQUARE 50 years ago

1971 Plans were announced for the construction of a multi-use stadium in downtown Indianapolis near the City Market. Mayor Richard G. Lugar said, “Stimulated by the progress we announce today, let us dream of those things which now seem a great deal more possible tomorrow.” Three years later, opening ceremonies were held for Market Square Arena.


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