RUSSIA — The construction/renovation of a the playground at Russial Local School was discussed by the board of education during its meeting on Sept. 19.
According to the board, the existing structure was beginning to show its age, and the board was considering three plans to update the equipment.
The first plan was projected to cost $200,000 and would replace the entire existing structure, with most of the cost incurred by rubber flooring that would be part of the project.
The second option being considered would cost about $160,000 and would feature all of the same equipment as the first option, but would require moving the swings, and building a mulch safety area around them.
The final, cheapest option would cost $130,000 and would eliminate much of the free-standing equipment included in the previous plans.
The board has $120,000 worth of funds to allocate to the playground project, but indicated that donations would allow them flexibility to pursue more ambitious plans.
If the board moves on a construction plan by Oct. 31, there is a significant discount available from the different contractors, but the board may decide to wait until next fall to embark on the project, reasoning that other savings would be available then.
The Board also noted the current freshman class was very small, and next year’s is poised to be even smaller. Enrollment is not a serious issue, and the board was optimistic that future years would help replenish the smaller student body.
Several substitute teachers were employed, for a rate of $90 per day. The substitute teachers are Jamie Baumer, Sarah Hembree, Allyson Grilliot, Lisa Monnin, Emily Lichtenbert and Laura Myers.
Additionally, the board approved the hiring of coaches for the 2018-19 year.Hired were Kevin Phlipot, varsity baseball; Scott Phlipot, assistant varsity baseball; Dennis Monnin, junior varsity baseball; Kristi Borchers, assistant varsity softball; Spencer Cordonnier, assistant varsity boys basketball; Bruce Borchers, assistant varsity girls basketball; Kyle Schafer, freshmen boys basketball; Phil Pleiman, eighth-grade boys basketball; Austin Tebbe, seventh-grade boys basketball; Dan Schafer, high school boys track; Brad Heaton, high school girls track; Shae Goubeaux, assistant track; Mark Travis, assistant track; and Dawn Luthman, junior high cheer.
Additionally, five volunteer coaches were approved for the 2018-19 year. They are Aaron Monnin, high school baseball; Tom Doseck, high school baseball; Jared Goubeaux, high school baseball; Jamie Herron, high school softball; and Wes Goubeaux, high school softball
Superintendent Steve Rose reported that Russia Local had scored an A on their state report card for the 2017-18 school year, one of 28 in the state to do so. Russia Local’s Performance Index was the 20th highest in the state. Russia was one of 36 districts that earned an A or a B on the Prepared for Success Indicator, a measure of student readiness for secondary education.
An anonymous donation for the Blue and Gold Scholarship was accepted, as well two donations from the RCA, $93.51 for educational supplies and $496 to assist with the cost of COSI program.
The writer is a contributor to the Sidney Daily News.