FWCS Officials Look To President For Building Improvement Money

By Jeff Neumeyer

September 8, 2011 Updated Sep 8, 2011 at 5:34 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Officials with Fort Wayne Community Schools have reason to watch President Obama’s job creation address to the nation with special interest.

They hoped to get a mention in the speech, in the section dealing with investment in school infrastructure improvements.

FWCS Board President Mark Giaquinta reportedly had contact with the Department of Education, discussing the system’s status as a high performing district that is also pursuing money for building upgrades, one area where the President hopes to stimulate job growth.

Harrison Hill Elementary School is one of several older buildings in the district that is in big need of rehabilitation.

We were given a tour of the school Thursday, including a walk through the basement, where there is no cash to replace boiler units that in some cases are 40 to 50 years old.

We asked school officials how they feel giving money to schools qualifies as job creation?

Krista Stockman/FWCS Public Information Officer: " If we had money to put in to our buildings, we could put people to work tomorrow. As you saw, we need new heating systems, we need new windows, and we need better ventilation systems. If we had the money, we could put people to work right now."

Many republicans are saying what we don't need is a stimulus package where the government picks up the tab for whatever job creation occurs.

President Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate, David Long, says the private sector needs to be driving the bus on stimulus.

He says the President needs to order cutbacks in government regulation that have hurt the state’s coal industry.

He also favors incentives for oil and gas exploration in North America, and new ideas to boost the struggling housing market, that many experts claim is dragging the economy down.

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