Clark County Auto Auction donates $2 million property to Greater Clark County Schools
The Clark County Auto Auction property on 10th Street in Jeffersonville will be transformed in the a professional development center for GCCS.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- The controversy surrounding the future of the Clark County Auto Auction property on 10th Street in Jeffersonville is over, as the property will be donated to Greater Clark County Schools.
"We knew that in partnering with Greater Clark County Schools, making it an educational center would be putting it to good use in the community,” said Paul Fetter, General Manager of the Clark County Auto Auction.
The Fetter family’s donation is a large one, will the property valued at $2 million. When asked why they decided to donate the land and facility instead of sell it, Fetter said he felt it was the best option for the family and the school district.
The property will become the Mark Fetter Center for Professional Learning, a space used for training the more than 800 teachers working in Greater Clark County Schools.
The district has been looking for more space for professional development and project-based learning since it switched over to the Ford Next Generation Learning model.
"We'll have some renovation work to do in the interior, but once we do that, we'll be able to train 200-300 people at a time if we need to," GCCS Superintendent Dr. Andrew Melin said. "That flexibility is just tremendous for us."
The district says the renovations to the building should be completed by next year, but this wasn’t always the district’s vision for the property. Originally, the district hoped to purchase the property and turn it into a school bus depot.
Concerns were raised about how that would impact traffic on the already busy 10th Street. The criticism came specifically from some members of the Jeffersonville City Council and Mayor Mike Moore.
"I thought it was a horrible solution, so I'm glad I voiced my opinion against that,” Moore said.
Although he was once a vocal opponent of the original plan, Moore is pleased with the new use for the property.
"If someone's going to make a $2 million gift to Greater Clark, we just saved the taxpayers a whole lot of money there,” Moore said.
As for the bus depot, the school district’s search continues as the district continues to expand.
"We're still looking," Melin said. "That's a tremendous need for our district, a new transportation center, and we are looking at some other pieces of property."
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