Fayette school board OKs fair week vacation 12.19

Written by David Green.

Fair Week vacation is back on the schedule for Fayette students.

After voting down a motion last month to eliminate vacation during the week of the Fulton County Fair, the Gorham Fayette Board of Education voted Monday to reconsider a vacation resolution.

This time board president Kelly Bentley joined Fred Stockburger and Terry Kovar in supporting a motion stating that the district will not be in session during Fulton County fair week. David Brinegar and Paula Schaffner remained opposed to the motion.

Bentley told the board that new information was received since last month’s meeting. She said that 33 percent of the student body is “affected by fair week.”

In addition, she said the school district has shown academic improvement and is no longer on academic watch.

For the past three years, students have been given three days off during the fair, starting with the Labor Day holiday on Monday and Jr. Fair Day on Tuesday.

Last month, instructor Suzette Boesger told board members that she represented a majority of the teaching staff in stating opposition to the vacation so soon after the start of school. Elementary principal Dr. LuAnn Boyer also expressed opposition to the days off.

While the board met in a closed session Monday, Boesger disputed the 33 percent figure. After checking with the county extension service, she concluded there are 60 students involved in 4-H or about 14 percent of the school population.

She said last month that involvement in 4-H projects doesn’t necessarily equate to the need for three days off from classes.

WATER—Eric Wiemken, construction engineer for the new school project, told board members a decision was made to install a submerged water tank at the school property. The 15,000 gallon tank would supply the fire department with an hour of water when pumped at 250 gallons a minute. If needed, the water would be obtained through a hydrant.

The cost of the tank has not yet been determined, Wiemken said.

Wiemken also told the board that a proposal to form a loop in the water line was abandoned when calculations determined that would not solve the flow problem.

Water flow on the new school site has been a concern after tests indicated the flow is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the fire suppression system

A sufficient flow was measured at a village hydrant on Rehn Drive, about 1,000 feet from the school, but the flow diminishes at the school.

Board member Terry Kovar asked how the buried tank would be funded and Wiemken said it would come from the contingency fund.

“Did you ever figure out where we went wrong?” Kovar asked, noting that initially engineers determined that flow would be sufficient. “Was there an error in the calculations? I’d really like to understand this.”

“We have enough water within a thousand feet,” added trustee Fred Stockburger.

Wiemken said there’s “line loss” in the stretch to the school.

“I don’t buy that,” Stockburger said.

When the water travels from the village water tower to Rehn Drive with sufficient flow, it shouldn’t lose that much pressure in the final thousand feet, Stockburger said.

Wiemken said he would have architect Jim Price contact board members for an explanation.

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