NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) – A Montessori School in New Albany is asking the district for a quarter of a million dollars to help build a new fine arts facility.

For three months, Community Montessori Charter Public School has been using its gym as a rehearsal space for school's theatrical productions and other events.

Monday night, school officials presented a plan in front of the New Albany Floyd County School Board to request the money from the state’s 2018 Capital Project Fund. The school told the board the request is not an annual line item but only a partial ask for this specific project.

“Per the Indiana charter school law we are able to ask for a proportionate share of that so we are asking for just 2% of their budget,” School Director Barbara Burke Fondren said. “It’s something that has always been on the books that we could ask for and we just now had the right project that we wanted to come ask.”

Hundreds of New Albany district staff and members of the Teacher’s Association packed Monday’s work session meeting. Although they were not allowed to give comments during the meeting, they hoped their presence would influence the board enough to not advance the proposal to a future vote.

“We went two rounds almost three rounds to get that money and talk to our taxpayers about using it for our kiddos here in New Albany Floyd County Schools and that is where we believe it should be used,” said Teacher's Association President Joy Lohmeyer.

The school board told WDRB there is a possibility to discuss the Montessori school expansion at a later date but requested the school apply again for any available charter school grants in the meantime.

Another topic of discussion at Monday’s meeting was the addition of indoor tennis courts at Floyd Central High School. The school owns the land next to the school and the $600,000 privately funded project would add courts which would be used by students and the public year round.

“We are not thinking of this strictly of a standpoint of more practice time for us – we are thinking of it as something that benefits the entire community,” Tennis Coach Robert Kleeman told WDRB.

Three sites were proposed – one of them at the location of a former elementary school next door, which already has utilities set up.

The school board requested engineers to come up with a contract in order for the project to be voted on in the future.

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