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School board hires Collaborative firm to continue facility planning process
By Beth Church
The Collaborative TMP architect firm has been hired by the Rossford Board of Education to continue work on school facilities.
The school board approved an interim services agreement with the company at a January 25 meeting with a maximum cost of $20,000.
“We do need to start thinking about facilities,” said Dawn Burks, board president.
In November, the board hired the Collaborative to provide pre-bond issue and design and construction administrative services. The firm proposed a plan for school facilities, but it was voted down by the school board.
With three new board members taking office in January, they will begin the process again.
Board member Tiffany Densic questioned whether the new agreement calls for the firm to begin plans that may later change.
Board member Kent Murphree responded that “this document gets us to having a working relationship with the Collaborative.”
“The options need to be discussed as a new board,” he said. “The previous options need to be on the table.”
Board member Sharon Belkofer agreed, “We can’t proceed without a positive vote from the community.”
Superintendent Dan Creps said the $20,000 cost is “very favorable,” and may not even be necessary.
Ms. Burks said the board also needs to determine the role of the facilities and finance committees.
The school board plans to meet at 6:15 p.m., either February 8 or 10 for a work session to discuss options.
The board received the following report from Ron Weaks, buildings and grounds supervisor.
Glenwood Elementary– Crumbling concrete roof coping was replaced, at a cost of $4,271 paid to Damschroeder Roofing.
Estimates are being received to convert the Glenwood freezer/cooler to air- cooled from water-cooled, which should save considerably on water usage.
Eagle Point Elementary–
Dunbar Mechanical replaced a leaking boiler tube on a boiler at Eagle Point, at a cost of $5,995.
The school was closed because of a backed up sewer line December 17. Work was completed by T&J Sewer Cleaning, at a cost of $2,850.
Replacement of two closer assemblies with panic hardware on the back stairwell was required by the state fire marshal, at a cost of $1,704.
An air handler had a leak in the coil above the RJHS gym, and repairs were made by Dunbar Mechanical. No invoice has been received yet.
Two thermostats and a test kit from Allied Supply were purchased at a cost of $306.
Bulbs and ballasts in all burned out fixtures were replaced around the school, Glenwood and sports complex at a cost of $611.
Some ceiling tiles in the high school were replaced, at a cost of $276.
Bearings were replaced in a univent heater in a classroom, at a cost of $107.
Front door locks to the JH gym were repaired.
Mrs. Densic questioned Mr. Weaks about a rumor that junior high toilets are flushing hot water.
He explained the problem originates in a mixer valve that controls the hot/cold water in the showers and is connected to the toilets.
The maintenance staff examined the issue and found that hot water is only present in the first two flushes and then cold water comes through the pipes, he said.
Superintendent Dan Creps honored retiring employees Olga Avalos and Deb Huff upon their retirements.
Mrs. Avalos was employed more than 20 years, primarily at Glenwood Elementary and most recently as a cook/cashier. She and her husband also raised five children in the district, who are all RHS graduates, Mr. Creps noted.
Ms. Huff was hired in September 1998 and held various food service positions throughout the district, including RHS head cook. She also served as a majorette advisor.
The board took the following action on personnel issues:
•Accepted the retirement resignation of Deb Huff, RHS cafeteria head cook, effective February 1.
•Accepted the resignation of Erin Kozina, playground aide at Eagle Point Elementary (second position), effective January 18.
•Approved employment of classified personnel–Nancie DeVaul, cook/cashier at Eagle Point, four hours per day, $16.55 per hour; Patty Welch, RHS cook/cashier 4.5 hours per day, $17 per hour; Melissa Luderman, playground aide at Eagle Point, two hours per day, $14.04 per hour, all effective January 26.
•Issued supplemental contracts for 2015-16 to Deb Reiter, Kim Simmons, Eileen Christoffers, Missy Thomas, Rachel Linkous, Terri Retzloff, Lauren Harrison, Renee Abke, Diane Burtchin, Wendy Hilty, Maria Pratt, Kelynne Pabin, Pam Nickel and Jennifer Lewis, IAT members, $27.69 per hours; Linda Sankovich, drama piano accompaniment, $1,183; Karen Kinsey, drama choreographer, $1,183.
•Approved Brittany Gates as a volunteers at RJHS for 2015-16.
•Approved orchestra services for the 2016 RHS spring musical–Will Kinsey, $300; Kevin Korecki, $300; Tom Ritter, $300; Albert Tscherne, $300.
Treasurer James Rossler Jr. gave a presentation to the board on Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs).
As part of the Tax Payers Relief Act of 1997, the federal government created a program for schools to benefit from interest free capital to support improvements in facilities and in curriculum and instruction.
The program funds improvements by allowing districts to use QZABs.
Mr. Rossler listed several requirements for districts to qualify.
First, the district must either be in an empowerment zone or an enterprise community–which Rossford is not either.
But districts over the 35 percent free and reduced threshold also qualify, and Rossford is above that level.
“Second, there must be a 10 percent match with a business partner, which in cooperation with the school, designs an academic program (or academy) that enhances the academic curriculum, increases graduation and employment rates and better prepares students for the rigors of college and the workforce,” Mr. Rossler said.
“In other words, this becomes a true partnership with an outside entity having a say in programs housed in your buildings.”
Third, the district must be in a position to legally issue debt.
“Therefore in order to participate, a bond issue would have to be successful to issue debt,” the treasurer explained.
“Interest on the bonds is paid by the federal government in the form of tax credits to the purchasers. In the information produced by the U.S. Department of Education it indicates clearly that ‘this is a tax credit bond program, not a grant program.’”
In other business, the board:
•Posted the new business and technology course of study for review and will vote on it at the next meeting.
Jason Smith, curriculum director, reported to the board that the last time the program was examined was in the late 1990s “and the materials are nearly that old as well.”
“They were well past their expiration date.”
•Heard from Sandy Smith, district technology director, that she is requesting additional Internet bandwidth.
“We currently have 200 MB and are maxing the connection out multiple times each day,” she explained. “With technology use continually growing and the online test requirements, we cannot have our Internet connection be a hindrance.”
Ms. Smith recently met with the RJHS and RHS principals to schedule online testing.
“We have to consider the limited bandwidth and be sure not to schedule too many students at one time,” she stated.
•Heard from Neal Applin, transportation director, that the district’s salt spreader is now operating and worked well during the first snowfall.
Perrysburg Township has agreed to store the district’s salt at their facility.
“We purchased 18.5 tons of salt to keep at their facility and will keep a running tally of how much we are using or have left,” he said.
Mr. Applin also reported to the board that he has started to use a different additive in diesel fuel.
“While it may be too early to tell, it seems to be working very well and we have not had many issues with getting busses started in the cold weather,” he stated.
•Accepted clothing and monetary donations from several Glenwood Elementary School retirees for Glenwood students.
•Entered into an agreement with Wood County Educational Service Center for consortium services–such as adaptive physical education, community learning centers tutoring, emotionally-disturbed classroom program, multiple disabilities classroom program and parent mentor program; and an agreement for specialized services–such as the Wood County alternative school, youth employment, community learning centers and community school-based ATOD, all for the 2016-17 school year.
•Entered into an agreement with the Collaborative for services related to a district-wide capital improvements plan to address facility needs.
•Approved the RHS Drama Club’s trip request to the Ohio Educational Theatre Association Conference at Dublin Scioto High School in Dublin, Ohio from March 11-13, and the RHS varsity softball team’s trip request to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the Ripken Experience from March 26 to April 1.
•Praised the Drama Club’s performance of “The Boys Next Door,” in which several students portrayed mentally handicapped people.
“The drama department should be extremely proud,” Mrs. Belkofer said.
Ms. Burks agreed, “They did a phenomenal job.”
The school board’s next regular meeting is 6 p.m., Monday, February 22, at Indian Hills, 401 Glenwood Road, and is open to the public.
The Journal office in Perrysburg now has the following new hours of operation:
Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.
Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.
The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.
Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.
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