Fayette schools: Construction funds OKd for wind turbine 7.1.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The odds that Fayette Local Schools will come up with the area’s first large wind turbine are looking better.

Superintendent Russ Griggs told board of education members last week that he met June 17 with Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) representatives in Columbus and learned that funds remaining from the school construction project could be used for a turbine.

“The OSFC has authorized the wind turbine project with a budget of $975,000 including OSFC funding and the $200,000 DOD grant,” Griggs said.

The Ohio Department of Development  (DOD) awarded the grant in March through the agency’s Renewable Energy Incentives program.

The leftover funds from the construction project have limited uses, Griggs said, and cannot be used for athletic facilities.

“If the money in the project is not utilized for approved OSFC projects, the district would be returning about $600,000 back to the state,” he said.

One twist to the wind turbine project is the OSFC’s request to consider several smaller turbines rather than the 250 kW size Griggs favors.

Multiple turbines would require a larger land space that would interfere with the agriculture class land lab area. A series of turbines would also increase the need for maintenance, he said. Griggs also noted there is only a single underground conduit in place. Multiple turbines would require additional connections.

The OSFC appointed Barton Malow to serve as construction manager for the project and the Buehrer Group as architects. Both firms were involved in the school construction project. Two test borings were made to a depth of 40 feet in areas specified by Buehrer.

Griggs said OSFC funds are secure through the tobacco company settlement made several years ago, but he is concerned about how the state’s budget problems might affect DOD funding.

Despite the two funding sources, the district will be at least $150,000 short of paying for the turbine, but federal stimulus funds will be sought. Failing that, the board of education could borrow the money and repay the loan through savings in electrical costs, Griggs said.

A consultant estimated the district could save $50,000 a year with an annual wind speed average of 5.5 miles per hour.

LUNCHES—Student lunch prices will increase by a nickel to $2 for K-6 and to $2.30 for 7-12. The Super Size meal increases by a dime to $3.10 and the adult meal goes up by a quarter to $3.25. The breakfast price remains the same at $1.25.

TRIPS—The board approved a band and choir trip to Chicago March 31 to April 2, 2010, which will include music clinics at Vandercook College of Music. An FFA trip to Camp Muskingum was approved from June 27 to July 1, 2010.

RESIGNATION—Third grade teacher Beth Morr resigned to take a job with the Stryker school district.

EMPLOYMENT—Kelly Bentley was offered a one-year contract to serve as district treasurer and Lacy Stambaugh was hired to serve as a library aide and to fill the EMIS post, making district reports to state offices.

ATHLETIC FACILITIES—Board member Deb Leininger will serve as a representative to the athletic field committee.

COACHES—The following coaches were approved by the board: seventh grade girls basketball, John Winzeler; eighth grade girls basketball, Steve Schrock; JV girls basketball, Matt Schaffner; varsity girls basketball, Ashley Oyer; volunteer, Sarah Bird; seventh grade boys basketball, Geoff Gilmore; eighth grade boys basketball, Nick Ramos; ninth grade boys basketball, Ryan Colegrove; JV boys basketball, Matt Maginn; varsity boys basketball, Todd Mitchell; volunteers, Brian Keefer and Rodney Kessler; junior high cheerleading, Suzie Sommers; and JV/varsity cheerleading, Alissa Stockburger.

CLOSED—The board met in a closed session for nearly 40 minutes to discuss employment issues.

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