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.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • 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).
  • 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.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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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