Chesterton Tribune



School Board OKs bid for CHS flex lab

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The Duneland School Board accepted a bid for the new flex lab planned at CHS at its meeting last night.

The ‘flex lab’ will take the place of the auto shop, which will be reconfigured to house more machines so students can practice a wider variety of manufacturing skills. Larson-Danielson Construction will do the work for $148,154. Tria Architecture designed the space with extra clearance around the machines for an extra safety buffer and easy evacuation during fire drills.

At the Board’s Aug. 7 meeting, CHS Principal Brent Martinson said the flex lab will help prepare students for a growing job market in the manufacturing industry and be an integral part of the manufacturing pathway at CHS--one of several pathways being put into place at Duneland to meet Indiana’s new graduation requirements aimed at ensuring career and post-secondary readiness among graduates.

CHS Industrial Tech teacher Tom Moodie told the Chesterton Tribune some machines have already been donated for the space and thanked the donor, Stewart McMillian, of Task Force Tips, Inc., who he said has been “instrumental” in developing the manufacturing pathway.

Moodie said McMillian has generously donated two 2OP Trak CNC mills and two CNC Bridgeport ROMI lathes for the flex lab. Task Force Tips is a Valparaiso-based manufacturer specializing in fire suppression equipment. Moodie said Duneland Schools is very thankful to Task Force Tips and looks forward to continuing the partnership.


The Board approved Duneland Schools Superintendent Dr. Chip Pettit’s request to hire a third athletic trainer at CHS. Pettit said CHS has two athletic trainers, but the workload of providing training at CMS as well as CHS and an increase in student participation in athletics necessitates the hiring of a third person.

The Board made the following other personnel moves: Jacob Hibbard and Tara Sibbrell were appointed custodians for CHS and Joy Ichiyam-Ramian was appointed eighth grade girls assistant basketball coach at CMS.

School Closings

Pettit took a moment to thank Director of Support Services Greg Lindy, the Maintenance department, and ACM Engineering and Environmental Services for their swift work following a positive test for legionella bacteria in the hot water system at CMS and the cooling tower on the roof at Westchester Intermediate late Thursday night. The school closings came out of “an abundance of caution,” according to Board President Brandon Kroft, and all needed precautionary measures were put in place over the weekend.

Other Business

The Board also conducted a first reading on a round of policy updates. The changes amounted to changing Indiana code citations, making corrections, and updating standards from NEOLA, the company that provides templates for school policies for Duneland and many schools in Indiana. There will be a second reading at the next meeting.

The Board approved a memorandum of understanding between Duneland Schools and Porter Regional Hospital allowing for CHS to be used as an emergency facility in a catastrophic event. The agreement has been in place for years, but was up for renewal.

Members of the Duneland Flyers were present at the meeting to thank Duneland Schools for their partnership and present plaques to Yost Principal Josh Huwig, WIS Principal Shawn Longacre, and Martinson.


Posted 10/8/2019




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