The board voted Thursday night to rescind an earlier vote cast Dec. 20 by a 4-3 majority.
The motion to rescind the earlier approved motion made by former board member Andrew Graves on his final night on the board was made Thursday by board member Mark Downey. The motion was also favored by Roger Shake and new board members Andy Davis and Chris Cornelius. Board members Charlie Records, Roger Weaver and Jason Davidson dissented.
Graves' motion would have employed the Vincennes architect firm of Myzak and Palmer to do the design work for an auxiliary gym once a negotiated fee was arrived at.
Downey said he didn't like the earlier motion, which would possibly cost in the $2 million range to build a multi-purpose/auxiliary gym, saying it was 'more of a want than a need' for the school district.
Board member Records said in his view if there is not going to be another gym built, then the junior high teams should be required to use the larger gym at the junior-senior high school and not the elementary gyms.
He pointed out that some of the 5th and 6th grade basketball team players are not getting home until 7 or 8 p.m. because they have to share practice space and time with the junior high squads.
"If we don't want to increase our gym space then we need to move the junior high teams back up here (to Switz City)," Records said.
Board member Cornelius said the decision on constructing a gym needs much more discussion, rather than what he called a 'spur of the moment decision'.
Before the vote during patron comments, Dr. Scott Powers D.D.S., who serves as president of the Lyons Town Council, addressed the board saying $2 million should not be spent on a fourth gym for the school district.
He pointed out that the existing three gyms -- at the junior-senior high school, Worthington Elementary and Lyons Elementary, had worked for 20 years and there are 100 less students enrolled than there were two decades ago.
"We probably need less gym space not a new fourth gym," Powers said.
Powers stated that the budget and enrollment are declining and personnel positions have been cut due to a lack of funding.
He noted that repairs are needed at both elementary school buildings and stated, "Taxpayers do not want higher taxes for something that does not improve education and also for something that is truly not needed."
Powers offered an option to the board to consider if there is a need for additional gym practice space that he said makes more financial sense.
The Lyons Community Building contained a basketball court that could be rented by the school for $50 for each day's use ---- which he said is less than one-half of the interest cost alone on a new $2 million building.
Powers said interest on $2 million using a 2 percent rate would be $111 per day ---- resulting in $40,000 in interest payments calculated on 360 days a year.
A planned part of the design work for an auxiliary gym was to also include a stage facility.
Powers said as an alternative to building a stage geared for a musical or play, the school might be wise to look at possibly renting Shawnee Theatre in Bloomfield, like the Bloomfield Junior-Senior High School does for its productions.
Another district property owner, John Coleman, of Lyons, also encouraged the board to think again when it came to spending taxpayer money for a gym.
"It (the gym) would be not necessarily be for a need. It's probably a want," Coleman said as a prelude to what board member Downey later said in the meeting.
Coleman cited cuts in school funding from the state ---- about 13 percent in the General Fund or about $1.7 million in the biennium budget; a 30 percent increase in insurance rates; the need to take out a $4 million temporary loan to meet payroll expenses due to cash flow problems as reasons not be go in debt to build the auxiliary gym.
Coleman pointed out that the board on the Thursday agenda was considering another temporary loan.
"I like gyms. I like our programs. I like our school, but its number one goal is education and that's why we need a loan because we are having trouble paying for it," Coleman stressed.
Coverage of other action and discussion at Thursday's board meeting, including the search for an interim superintendent to replace former Supt. Layton Wall, who took early retirement last week, will be published in Saturday's edition.