Fayette school board loses some support

Written 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.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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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