Triad school board discusses facility needs


By Casey S. Elliott - celliott@civitasmedia.com



NORTH LEWISBURG – Triad Local Schools’ buildings will need an estimated $1.45 million in repairs over the next five years, officials say, and the district and school board must figure out how they will pay for the needed work.

Triad Superintendent Chris Piper told the school board Oct. 15 that OHM Advisors, the architectural firm the district selected to evaluate the district’s building repair needs, determined it would take an estimated $1,450,850 from now until 2020 to fix all its school buildings. The group had a higher estimate, which included items such as an all-weather track at the high school, LED lighting in parking lots, new bleachers and site grading for the football field. Piper said district officials are not planning on doing any of those items because they are not strictly necessary.

“We pared it down to our priorities,” he said.

What is left to do includes brick work at all three school buildings, new windows at the middle and elementary, new chillers at the high and middle school, and some other site work.

“It is great information for us to have. It’s information we will need to help plan for the future,” Piper said.

The school district does not have a Permanent Improvement levy, which would normally pay for items like building repairs. The dollars will need to come from the district’s general fund, Treasurer Connie Cohn said.

“We all kind of knew this was coming,” Board Vice President Randy Moore said, referring to the need to repair buildings and equipment.

Administrators and staff will combine those needs with other purchases, such as equipment, to plan what gets done and when. Cohn said she was relieved to know what is needed and an estimate on costs, which she can build into the district’s budget.

Piper added the board will have to decide if it will try to seek a Permanent Improvement levy again or continue to try to pay for the repairs through the regular budget. The district has sought a permanent improvement levy three times, failing each time.

Teacher evaluations

The school board approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Triad Education Association, allowing for the district to use test results for teacher evaluations. Normally, test results are used in teacher evaluations, but the Ohio legislature approved “safe harbor” provisions to prevent districts from penalizing teachers, students and administrators for poor test results, Piper said.

“The ‘safe harbor’ provision says we cannot use value-added (testing) data for teacher evaluations unless we pass an MOU with the teachers union to do that,” he said. “We had a conversation with TEA, the teachers union, about it. I want to commend them. They have really taken to the idea that this is a coaching model. The evaluation system should be a coaching model to help teachers get better. I know in a lot of districts the teachers are not signing (MOUs), but ours did. They are willing to see it as a coaching model, that it is about getting better.”

In other action, the board:

•Accepted the resignation of two-hour cafeteria worker Tambula Davis, effective the end of the work day Oct. 2, 2015.

•Accepted the resignation of high school football assistant coach Danny Pratt, effective Aug. 31, 2015.

•Approved the initial partial-year contract for school van driver Melanie Dowell, for the 2015-16 school year. The position will be non-renewed at the end of the school year or sooner if the position is not needed.

•Approved hiring Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Matt McCurdy, Girls Varsity Basketball Coach Jason Malone, Boys Assistant Basketball Coach Payton Printz, Girlts 8th Grade Basketball Coach Erica Trainer, Middle School Basketball Cheer Coach Terri Bruce, Freshman Basketball coach Adam Moore, Assistant Girls Basketball coach John Millice, Boys 8th Grade Basketball Coach Jim Pond and Varsity Basketball Cheer Coach Angel Legge, all for the 2015-16 school year.

•Approved hiring substitute custodian John Arthur for the 2015-16 school year.

•Approved hiring substitute teacher and substitute school van driver Jonathan Smith for the 2015-16 school year.

•Approved football volunteer Jason Malone for the 2015-16 school year.

•Approved the overnight trip for Power of the Pen students to attend the state tournament in Wooster, May 26-27, 2016.

By Casey S. Elliott

celliott@civitasmedia.com

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.