2009-08-15 / Schools

Work starting on new middle school

By Charles Prince

BALTIMORE - The first piece of earth moving equipment arrived at the new middle school site Monday, school board Vice President Art Brate reported Monday night. He expects construction of a fence separating the construction site from the elementary school will be done this week.

Board members unanimously approved a $300,681 contact with Stover & Turner Excavation, Inc. at an August 6 special meeting. The contract for site improvement came in $175,000 below the estimate. That savings provides a financial cushion if additional soil borings would require more soil work or replacement, Superintendent Paul Mathews explained. Bids for the construction of the new middle school and renovation of the high school will go out later this month.

In other business, board members accepted board President Kevin Byers' resignation that was effective August 3. Byers was appointed in March 2007 to fill the balance of Janet Raver's term which expires at the end of the year. An expedited schedule has been set to select a replacement in order to allow the new board member to circulate an election petition before the August 20 filing deadline. Anyone interested in the board appointment must send a letter of interest and a resume to the superintendent by noon on Thursday, August 13. All qualified candidates will be scheduled for a personal interview with school board members at a special board meeting beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, August 15. Mathews had heard from one candidate as of Monday night.

At a July 22 special meeting, board members hired Kevin Yates as a middle school language arts teacher and Mallory James as a middle school intervention specialist. Yates is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds licenses in grades 4-9 social studies, language arts and reading. James is a graduate of Glenville State College with licenses in K- 12 special education and elementary education.

Monday night, board members hired Libby Compton as a classroom aide for handicapped students and approved four supplemental contracts:

• Chuck Bauer - volunteer assistant for football;

• Sarina Mirick - junior high football cheerleading;

• Ricky Magley - assistant junior high football; and

• Megan Gierhart - JV volleyball.

Brate will represent the district at the Ohio School Boards Association Capital Conference in November. Board member Joe Farmer will serve as the alternate delegate.

Revised elementary and middle school staff handbooks were also unanimously approved. The only significant change was to the middle school handbook where it changes the grading scale. The school is moving from a point scale - 4 for anA, 3 for a B and so on - to a percentage like the high school uses.

Treasurer David Butler had some bad news for board members. Revenue from the district's 1.75 percent income tax is down $92,000 from this time last year. That represents a nearly $5.2 million reduction in taxable income in the district.

The board's next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14 in the high school library.

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