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.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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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