Fayette board of eduction 11.26.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

State funding for education has already taken a downward turn in Ohio, said Fayette school superintendent Russell Griggs, and it’s likely to get much worse.

Griggs girded board of education members at the Nov. 17 meeting with the news that tough financial conditions lay ahead.

State revenue has fallen $175 million below projections, he said, and indications point to worsening conditions.

“There’s talk in Columbus about cuts,” he said. “They’ve already made some cuts, but not directly related to the classroom.”

That would be the next step and he’s heard talk of a five percent reduction in state aid. For Fayette, that means a cut of at least $110,000—for the current year.

That would be exceptionally challenging, he said, because staff members have been hired and programs are in place.

“We’ll have to look at our operations and be proactive over the next few months,” Griggs said. “We’ll be taking a very serious look.”

The district’s projected deficit could increase to $400,000 for the current school year, taking a big bite out of the reserve cash.

As a veteran administrator, Griggs has seen similar situations in the past, notably the early 1980s.

Griggs said he wants district residents to be aware of the upcoming problems. He and other administrators need to begin looking for ways to trim spending.

DELAY—Demolition of the old school buildings was delayed after additional asbestos was found in both buildings. This will add two or three weeks to the completion of the project.

In addition, a buried fuel oil tank was found at the Franklin property and an additional water well needed capping on the high school property.

The delay works toward Armstrong Excavating’s goal of recycling as much material as possible, Griggs said. The company estimates that only about 10 percent of the demolition material will end up in a landfill.

TURBINE—Griggs continues to explore the purchase of a wind turbine to lower the school’s utility costs. Leftover funds from the building project could be used, along with a grant. He estimates the cost at between $800,000 and $900,000.

SNOW REMOVAL—Chris Johnson was awarded a three-year contract for snow removal. His low bid of $270 per cleaning was $30 below the next lowest bid from Doug Eisel.

Steve Snider, head of maintenance, said he was pleased working with Eisel over recent years. Eisel pointed out that he did minor clearing several times last season without any charge, so his bid might become closer to the low bid.

The board voted to accept the low bid from Johnson.

LIBRARY—Debra Rupp was appointed to a seven-year term on the Normal Memorial Library board of directors.

STAFF—Lisa Hintz was hired to serve as an intervention teacher for grades seven through 12.

She did an excellent job last year, Griggs said, and he believes her assistance made a positive difference on state testing scores.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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