Harmon outlines projects on ‘to do’ list

By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com

SIDNEY — Spring and summer maintenance projects at Sidney City Schools buildings were reviewed Monday night during the Board of Education meeting.

Jerry Harmon, director of business operations, presented his end-of-the-year update to the board.

Bleacher inspections, he said, have been completed at Sidney Middle School and Sidney High School. New motors are being installed on the visitors side of the high school bleachers.

Catch basins will be installed at Northwood School and the area will be paved in July. Two bids have been received for the erosion problem at Whittier School.

“We are having a clean up in all the buildings,” said Harmon. “The staff is throwing all the junk away or they are putting it in a pile to be stored at Lowell. We are uncluttering the rooms. We’ll be having a sale in June of unwanted items. It will probably be an online sale.”

Harmon said the water retention pond at the middle school isn’t working properly. When it rains, the pond retains the water and it’s taking weeks for it to drain.

He also reported he’s receiving quotes for paving which needs to be done district wide. He’s also receiving information on replacing the cafeteria floor at the high school. He and Treasurer Mike Watkins are checking to see if the cafeteria budget can finance the project.

The display TVs in the cafeteria and hallway at the high school will also be updated, said Harmon.

“Cotterman Roofing has walked all the roofs in the district,” said Harmon. “They have a list of repairs and preventative maintenance which needs to be done. They took photos of everything.”

The two most pressing projects, he said, are at Parkwood and Northwood Schools. The lower roof over the gym at Parkwood neeeds replaced. The lower part of the roof at Northwood also needs to be replaced.

He said he will bring recommendations concerning the roof projects to the board at a future meeting.

Harmon said another recommendation will deal with the control system for the district’s heating and air conditioning. He said the plan is to have a control system on all buildings, roofing projects and lighting projects.

He said a key fob system will be installed on the high school doors. The same will be done at the board of education office.

Harmon said summer help is being hired, which will include junior and senior students and staff members’ children.

“We have some custodians who will be off on medical leave,” he said. “This will be a good experience for the kids.”

Harmon said he’s asked the principals for a “wish list” of what they’d like to see done over summer vacation.

“A lot of them are improvement ideas which won’t cost a lot,” said Harmon.

Watkins presented an updated version of the five-year forecast for the district. This has to be approve twice a year.

Two areas raise concerns, he said. The first is on the revenue side which deals with the state foundation money. He said there is no change in2017 but there are reduced revenue anticipated for years 2018 through 2021.

The second area deals with purchased services (expenditures) which are being increased from the original forecast.

“Open enrollment is hurting us,” said Watkins. “We’ve seen an $180,000 increase from last year to this year.”

College Credit Plus (CCP) has also increased in cost for the district.

“We’re not at the saturation point (for open enrollment),” said Superintendent John Scheu. “We have 630 kids leaving the district.

“The CCP costs are a $100,000 increase for the district,” he said. “This is a positive program but the school districts shouldn’t have to pay for it. We have more kids attending Edison than any other school that feeds into Edison.

“When our high school teachers have to recertify to teach CCP, the costs of doing so are going to cause problems.”

In other business, the board:

• Approved a contract with the Montgomery County Educational Service to provide special education services for fiscal year 2018.

• Approved school lunch and breakfast prices for the 2017-18 school year. Lunches will be increasing 10 cents to $2.45 for kindergarten to fifth-grade students and $2.70 for grades 6-12. Breakfast will remain at $1 for all students and extra milk will still cost 50 cents.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, June 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the board of education office.

By Melanie Speicher


Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.