Construction starting for new middle school
BALTIMORE – Notices to proceed were issued last week to four contractors awarded bids to construct the new Liberty Union Thurston Middle School. Workers are expected to be onsite next week, Superintendent Paul Mathews reported Monday night.
“The second phase (of the high school renovation) is well underway,” he added. “We have to be out of here (high school) in three weeks.” Teachers and support staff are working hard packing up materials so the entire building can be turned over to contractors after Memorial Day. Students won’t return to school until Sept. 8, giving workers a couple extra weeks to finish the renovation.
In other business Monday night, board members unanimously hired Gary Lecrone as the new varsity boys basketball coach following an executive session. Most recently, he was the junior high coach at Fairfield Union. Earlier he served as head varsity coach at Berne Union. Ohio University graduate Krystal K. Washburn was hired as a first grade teacher. Board members also approved a long list of supplemental contracts including:
• Dan Johnson - head football coach;
• Jon Morris - head cross country coach for boys & girls;
• Harold Lloyd - head girls golf coach;
• Jared Shy - head boys soccer coach;
• Jeff Bader - head girls soccer coach;
• Krista Azeltine - head volleyball coach;
• Ben Johnson, Chuck Bauer and Thad Johnson - varsity assistant football coaches;
• Marcus Alford - JV boys golf coach;
• Megan Gierhart - JV volleyball coach;
• Jennifer Valentine - freshman volleyball coach;
• Ashleigh Miller - 7th grade volleyball coach;
• Krista Trent - 8th grade volleyball coach;
• Renne Mangette - Junior high cross country coach for boys and girls;
• Julie Mirick - varsity and JV football cheerleading coach;
• Rick Magley - junior high assistant football coach;
• Randy Russell and Jim Barber - co-assistant junior high football coaches;
• Courtney Gornall - junior class coordinator; and
• Debbie Howdyshell - senior class coordinator.
Board members also approved a list of 117 students to attend graduation, provided they meet all graduation requirements and have paid all fees.
In his report, district treasurer David Butler said tax revenues are basically in for the fiscal year ending June 30. He said income tax revenue was down $156,000 from last fiscal year, personal property tax was down $48,000 and real estate taxes were down $9,000. Butler also presented an updated five year forecast. Revenue is projected to exceed expenditures by $89,396 this fiscal year, leaving a projected carryover of $4,247,638. However, for years 2-5 of the forecast, expenditures are projected to exceed revenue, reducing the carryover annually to a deficit of $1,790,721 by June 30, 2014.
Since Ohio school districts aren’t permitted to actually run a deficit, revenues, expenditures or a combination will have to be adjusted to eliminate the deficit.
“It is not a real rosy picture,” President Art Brate said. “We’ll have to keep a close eye on expenditures.”
Butler is projecting basically flat state revenue for the five year forecast period. He acknowledges that could be too optimistic, noting that federal stimulus money is being used for six percent of the state’s basic aid to education this year and next. Those funds likely won’t be available for the state’s next two-year budget which could mean additional cuts in state assistance.
During the recognition part of the meeting, Brandi Black and Nick Richardson were honored as students-of-the-month. Black is the daughter of Pepper and Wendell Black. The junior is on the honor roll and is a cheerleader.
Richardson is the son of Craig and Dawn Richardson. The sophomore plays football, basketball and track. He has a 3.5 cumulative gpa and is a FCA member. He is also a member of the worship band at Fairfield Christian Church.
Joyce McNally, a middle school intervention specialist, was selected by her fellow teachers as teacher-of-the-month.
Alex Carrico, son of Chris and Richard Carrico, was honored for his Science Fair project. The eighth grader, competing with high school students, received Superior ratings at the local, district and state competitions for his project “Bacterial Warfare.” Addressing the growing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, Carrico tested three alternative remedies – garlic oil, oil of oregano and olive leaf extract – on both good and bad bacteria. His research paper was awarded third place at the district level. His project received a perfect score at the State Science Day at OSU last Saturday.
The board’s next regular meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 14 in the elementary school library since the high school will be closed for renovation.