Fayette school board loses some support

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The Fayette school building project can now move forward following the board of education’s decisions last week. The board’s votes at a special meeting Jan. 31 surely brought a sigh of relief from those involved in the project and from community members.

Not everyone is pleased with the decision and the school district will suffer from that outcome. A segment of the community once known for its strong support of the school district may now be less likely to serve as a booster. The group may be small in number,  but it’s an influential cluster of citizens and a serious blow to school/community relations.

There are still significant challenges ahead before Fayette students walk into a new school building, away from the present contaminated site. Some of the most significant will be faced by those in the village offices rather than at the school. Roads, sidewalks and sewers top the list, and costs associated with the work will likely trickle down to village residents.

Building a new school is a novel undertaking for board members and administrators. The board has little to go by other than the guidance of the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission (OSFC).

Perhaps some leadership from the OSFC was absent in the early stages of the project. The experience gleaned by the OSFC should have pointed out the necessity of involving community members and village officials right from the start. The earliest meetings about needs and options should have included a wider range of faces at the table.

School officials will now move forward, hobbling a little from the turmoil of recent weeks, and hoping to avoid a “referendum” on the May ballot in the form of a challenge to the required continuous maintenance millage.

– February 8, 2006
  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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