Crawford Board prepares for high school addition
By Matt Echelberry
An update on the potential high school addition project for Colonel Crawford schools was presented at the conclusion of the Crawford Board of Education meeting on Feb. 25. The project would add a high school wing to the current K — 8 building.
The Board first approved an agreement with Fanning & Howey Associates, Inc. to provide pre-bond architect services for the Ohio School Facilities Commission building project, in an amount not to exceed $25,000.
When Superintendent Todd Martin showed three preliminary drawings for the addition, it was met with disappointment amongst Board members and the principals. Each concept drawing had 15,400 square feet for the high school addition, less than half the size of the current high school building. This size is based on the district’s projected enrollment for 2017: 821. Colonel Crawford currently has 875 students enrolled, not including those attending Pioneer Career and Technology Center.
Martin explained that this is the maximum amount of square footage the district will receive for the project, which will be funded by a $6.1 million qualified state share and $250,000–300,000 in the local share. Included in those funds would be the tear down of the old school buildings (Whetstone Elementary, Sulphur Springs Elementary and the Intermediate School).
Board member Norm Huber noted, “We don’t gain much, in fact we’re losing space. There are fewer classrooms and nothing for the music or art departments.”
Board member Mike Willacker said it was appalling.
Initially, the administration’s plan was to keep some parts of the existing high school, including the industrial arts shop, gymnasium, pool, cafeteria and some classrooms. The rest of the building would be torn down and remodeled at the district’s expense.
Huber felt it might be necessary to keep more of the existing high school than anticipated, just to continue to offer the current course load.
Martin emphasized that there is still much discussion to be held and he will keep negotiating, but 15,400 square feet is the maximum size allotted for the addition. He added that there will not be any final drawings until March and hopes to have a town hall meeting with the community in April. A master plan for the project is due in May.
While the meeting ended on a somber note, it began on a more positive one. Principals Ruth Ann Noblet and April Bond recognized students who recently competed in the County Spelling Bee: fifth graders Daylen Balliett and Allison Brause, seventh graders Spencer Mutchler and Chloe Carman, and eight grader Lexi Wireman.
Martin announced that the boys and girls basketball teams each won district tournaments, and several members of the swim team have advanced to state competition. “We’re very proud of all of our student athletes,” he commented.
He also read a thank you letter from a family in the district who recently suffered a house fire, thanking the school and community for support.
In superintendent’s recommendations. the Board approved all of the following: Workable as the entity to conduct physicals for all bus drivers, the renewal of food service operation licenses for the school buildings at a cost of $937.34 and the non-renewal of all 2012–13 co-curricular contracts effective June 30, 2013.
It adopted the 2013–14 school calendar, approved ALICE training for students pre K — 12 and
approved a memorandum of understanding with the Colonel Crawford Education Association regarding the advancement of tuition reimbursement for teachers required to obtain the Reading Endorsement (part of the Third Grade Guarantee).
In other contracts, the Board approved Ron Bower for mowing, maintenance and security for the Whetstone Elementary School beginning April 19, at an approximate cost of $1,208.
It approved the 2013–14 student handbooks for William Crawford Intermediate and Hannah Crawford Elementary, as well as a contract with the Ohio School Boards Association for board policy update services for one year, at a cost of $650.
The following individuals were approved as coaches: Mariah Grave, Joey Bauer and Dave Greenich for assistant junior high track, and Brett Kaple as head golf coach (for the 2013–14 school year).
Colonel Crawford Board of Education’s next meeting is March 25 at 7 p.m., in the William Hannah Media Center.