The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Morenci schools moving forward with bond proposal 2012.12.19

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The first step in a proposed bond issue was approved by members of the Morenci Board of Education at a special meeting Thursday.

Although still at a very preliminary stage, the levy would not increase the tax rate paid by district residents. Instead, the existing bond would be continued for a longer period.

The bond would help the district meet maintenance costs at the three existing buildings to address a variety of interior and exterior issues.

During a meeting Thursday, the Building and Grounds committee evaluated three proposals for architects and construction managers.

“With the kind of projects we’re looking at, on their own I wouldn’t even consider hiring a construction manager,” said superintendent of schools Michael Osborne, “but we would have so many projects going on at once.”

Board president Scott Merillat spoke of the advantage of having one company handle the architecture work and another firm to serve as construction manager. With the arrangement, he said, one company will be able to check for problems in the other firm’s plans.

Erica Metcalf, the school’s finance director, suggested hiring the architect now and seeking bids for a manager at a later date. The key to moving forward, she said, is to get the bond documents to the state Department of Treasury as soon as possible.

The committee recommended hiring the Kingscott architectural firm—the company used in the middle school construction project. The board later approved that motion by a 4-0 vote.

The board read through a list of suggested maintenance needs ranging from roofing problems to internet capabilities, from bus purchases to aging plumbing. 

The list began with the knowledge that the district has serious technology needs, Osborne said. Michigan is joining a nationwide effort to move standardized testing from paper and pencil to an on-line format. Morenci doesn’t have the equipment nor the internet capabilities to handle that change.

Board members discussed tackling some of the suggested needs even before district residents consider a bond proposal. About $70,000 remains in the building fund from the middle school project and that money must be spent before the current fiscal year ends.

The outside bleachers are a major concern, said board member Phil McCaskey, but there might be more urgent needs. For example, he said, a security system for the school should probably move into the top three items that could be addressed with the remaining funds.

The WiFi system in the school was also listed as a major problem, plus the lack of a filtration system for the heating plants at both school sites.

Cost estimates for the top needs will be obtained for the board’s January meeting to see what might be accomplished with the $70,000.

Other suggested maintenance projects:

• bleachers, inside and outside;

• high school parking lot;

• high school roof;

• bus garage roof and plug-in heaters;

• energy savings projects;

• fire safety alarm problems;

• public address systems;

• elementary school heating system;

• asbestos abatement at the high school and elementary school;

• technology needs, including computers, switches, servers, wireless ports, telephone system.

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