Botkins BOE continues soccer discussion

BOTKINS– The discussion to make junior high soccer a school sport continued at the Botkins Board of Education meeting Wednesday night.

Botkins Varsity Soccer Head Coach Kevin Lynch was there again to present more information about what the cost would be to the school if they were to sponsor such a team.

The biggest issue the board faced was understanding the difference between a club sport, a school sport and a club sport sponsored by the school. The later is what Lynch said he would be happy with the school doing.

Lynch proposed an example of the school paying the referees and providing fields for them to practice and play on, but all the other costs would be taken care of through the Botkins Soccer Club.

The media center was full of parents there to voice their support for a school sponsored team, citing school spirit as a reason for the club to be associated with the school.

While others were there to voice their concerns about the amount of money available to the sports teams the school already has.

Lynch said the amount of kids are there that want to play, so they are going to play this season either way. Getting their foot into this league would help them out in the future if they ever want to make it a school sport.

The board decided it was best to keep talking about this and see how many other schools in the area are going to commit to this before the cut off in early July. Later in the meeting, Board Member Neil Boerger reported that the fee to use the park would not change if they added another team into the mix. They agreed that scheduling is going to be a big issue also.

In other business, the board approved money to purchase more security cameras for the school. Superintendent Connie Schneider told the board the cameras that they already have just don’t quite cover everything. She said having cameras in the first place is a great help and being able to cover more areas would be even more helpful.

They also approved funds for an addition to the parking lots. About an additional 48 spaces will be created, helping with the extra parking needed for bus drivers and extra staff, such as tutors, who are in the building on a regular basis.

The board also spoke about the purchase of a new speaker system to replace the old equipment in the gym. Schneider said the best part about this project is that the person installing the speakers is local.

Board President Jack Koenig said he got a chance to hear the new speakers in action and they sound fantastic. All board members agreed it was a good investment to make and approved the purchase.

Getting ready for next year the board approved calamity days and blizzard bags. They also approved substitute teacher pay for next school year at $85 a day. They also set and approved school lunch prices for next year. They will stay the same unless a waiver from the state doesn’t come through, then they will increase by 10 cents.

Also at the meeting, the board:

• Approved overnight trips for cheer camp, soccer camp and volleyball camp this summer.

• Approved a contract agreement with Auglaize County Educational Service Center to provide one-on-one help to students.

• Approved a master plan for future facilities if they ever want to add on. This doesn’t lock the district into anything, it just shows intent to expand in looking toward the future.