Sidney BOE approves contract for power source


SIDNEY — The installation of new video boards in the Sidney High School gymnasium ran into an unexpected glitch.

“The new video boards take more power to operate than the old score boards so we will need to run new electrical to each board,” said Treasurer Mike Watkins after Tuesday’s special Sidney City Schools Board of Education meeting. “It was not know until the new boards were to be installed so the board needed to approve the cost of the update.”

During the meeting, the board learned three companies were contacted about submitting a bid for installing the new power source for the video boards. Two of the companies said they didn’t have the manpower for the project and were also concerned about getting materials needed.

C & J Electric was the lone company to submit a bid. Their bid at a cost of up to $68,796 was approved. The company will begin work on the project as soon as they have the purchase order.

Athletic Director Mitch Hoying told the board some fall sports, such as volleyball, will be relocated to the Sidney Middle School gymnasium until the video boards are installed. If the installation isn’t completed — it’s expected to take 100 days — by the time basketball season starts, adjustments will be made to the schedule.

Superintendent Bib Humble announced the district will be receiving $286,961.07 from the state of Ohio’s Safety and Security Support program. Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement Tuesday afternoon that more than 1,000 schools will receive funds to upgrade school security.

“I found out from the media that we received the funds,” said Humble. “The Sidney Daily News emailed me and asked what we were going to use them for.”

The district will receive funds for Emerson, $50,000; Longfellow, $45,380.47; Northwood, $50,000; Sidney High, $50,000; Sidney Middle, $50,000; and Whittier, $41,580.60. According to Humble, the district will be using the the money for electronic door locks and cameras on the older elementary buildings and upgrade cameras and software at Sidney Middle School and Sidney High School.

“We had applied for funds during the first round of the program and didn’t receiving anything,” said Humble. “We’re very excited about this.”

While speaking Tuesday morning at the Ohio School Safety Summit in Columbus,DeWine announced that 1,183 schools in 81 counties will receive nearly $47 million in grant funding as part of his Ohio K-12 School Safety Grant Program. Grants equal the amount requested by each school up to $50,000. Funds will be used to cover expenses associated with physical security enhancements such as security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems, and exterior lighting.

“With the start of the new school year quickly approaching, we want students, staff, and parents to know that we care about school safety, and we’re working every day to make sure that rural, urban, and suburban schools alike have the safety and security resources they need,” said DeWine. “Helping schools pay for important security improvements is just one component of our comprehensive school safety approach that also supports the mental wellbeing of our kids and the work of local law enforcement to prevent crime.”

DeWine first launched the K-12 School Safety Grant Program in 2021 with an appropriation of $5 million in Senate Bill 310 of the 133rd General Assembly, which was awarded in May to 98 schools in 27 counties. This year, the Governor and legislature partnered to increase the grant program by an additional $100 million with support from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The 1,183 schools selected to receive funding each applied for but did not receive funds as part of the initial $5 million in grant awards. The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC), in partnership with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, will begin accepting applications in the coming weeks for the $53 million in funds remaining in the K-12 School Safety Grant Program. Schools that have not yet applied for funding or whose applications were ineligible in previous rounds will be given first priority.

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