Board OKs new automation system for district

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — Waibel Energy Systems, of Vandalia, was awarded a contract to upgrade the Sidney City Schools’ building automation systems during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting.

The project includes Sidney High school, Sidney Middle School, Emerson Longfellow, Whittier and Northwood Elementary Schools and the Board of Education Office. The cost of installation for all the buildings has been divided up over a three-year period: $498,196 for the first year of the contract; $311,320 for the second year; and $311,320 for the third year.

“With the current energy savings agreement, we finished the year with $109,198 saved for the district,” said David Crosley, Waibel general manager. “We are anticipating an additional $10,000 from DP&L.

“The middle school and high school had most of the savings,” said Crosley.

Prior to the current project with Waibel, it cost $1.22 per square foot for energy costs at the high school. This has been reduced to $1.02 per square foot. At the middle school, the $1.44 per square foot was reduced to 99 cents per square foot.

“I think we can generate even more savings in the future,” said Crosley. “We took what you had and made it work as well as it can.”

Once the new automation system is installed in each building, the savings will increase, said Crosley.

“We think you will see a total payback on the cost of the system in less than nine years,” said Crosley. “We’ll preserve the $100,000 (in savings) each year and guarantee another $40,000 per year.”

The total cost of the installation of the automation system is $1,120,837.31. There are no finance charges attached to the cost, said Crosley.

“We need to evaluate Waibel and would they be the best thing for the district. This is not tied to the refunding of the bonds,” said Board President Bill Ankney. “We have to react to Waibel without permanent improvements funding it. We have to have it (work) done.”

“I agree with Bill,” said Paul Heins, board member. “We can’t get the parts (for current system). It’s out responsibility to do something about it.

“We would be bringing this resolution to you even if we weren’t doing the refinancing of the bonds.”

With the new automated system, the district will be under one comprehensive system. The system will be monitored at Waibel’s office and locally by the school district’s maintenance staff.

Crosley said other reasons to update the system includes reliable comfort; reliable HVAC equipment performance; reduce repairs and track building performance; and extend life of HVAC equipment.

Establishing a latch key program within the district was discussed by Superintendent John Scheu during the meeting.

“There’s a waiting list for child care services — it’s a one-year waiting list,” said Scheu. “Rogy’s has closed. Head Start has reduced their hours. Tender Hearts has closed.

“We are looking to see if we can do a latch key program for K-5 students,” said Scheu.

A committee has been formed to look at the feasibility of the program, he said. The group visited Vandalia Butler School District, which has a program in place.

“We are studying the possibility of making this a reality in Sidney City Schools,” said Scheu. “We would also offer a summer program.”

Scheu said the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA has a shortage of childcare slots also.

“We’re looking at the 2018-19 school year to possibly start it,” said Scheu. “We’d have to have a site director to oversee the program. It would be a self-sustaining program.”

Tutoring and assistance with homework would be provided for the students in the program. During the summer, field trips and tutoring would be part of the program.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the transfer of $65,000 from the general fund to the capital projects fund for turf and track replacement.

• Approved an agreement with the Ohio School Plan administered by Hylant Administrative Services for the district’s property, fleet and liability insurance for July 1, 2017 through July 1, 2018, at a cost of $101,557.

• Approved the license renewal with WORKS International Inc. for Public School Works at a cost of $16,320. The program is used for staff training and other training.

• Approved a technical services agreement with NWOCA for Powerschool server hosting and support at a cost of $3,000 and $2.50 per student and $1.50 per administrator.

• Approved an agreement with the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center for fiscal year 2018.

• Approved a resolution declaring transportation to be impractical for two students to Troy Christian High School. The district will pay the parents $600 per student for transportation for the year.

• Accepted the resignations of Lesley Beigel, school psychologist; Shane Kelly, assistant football coach; and Jason Miller, substitute bus driver.

• Amended the elementary principal’s salary schedule to be the elementary principal/psychologist salary schedule and place the school’s psychologists on the appropriate level and amend their current contracts from 205 days to 215 days effective with the 2017-18 school year. Psychologists and their new salaries include Jayne Evans, $85,625; Stacey Lefeld, $85,625; and Melissa Welch, $83,131.

• Employed Ashley Wiley as a school psychologist on a two-year contract at $83,131.

• Employed Kelly Gagnet as auxiliary services teacher on a one-year contract at $34.93 per hour. She is a teacher at Holy Angels School.

• Employed Julie Curtner, custodian, $15.10 per hour, effective July 17, and Diana Thobe, custodian, $15.10 per hour, effective Aug. 1.

• Employed Diana Thobe as a a substitute custodian from July 18 to July 31 at $13.59 per hour.

• Awarded supplemental contracts to Destinee Yates, Sidney Middle School cheer coach, $939; Mindy Cox, junior varsity football/basketball cheer coach, $1,503; Ashley Borchers, assistant varsity volleyball coach, $1,503; and Tim Tennant, eighth-grade volleyball coach, $1,503.

• Hired AIR test administrators at Sidney High School for the summer. Each person — Kelly Thorne, Ruth Baker, Ebenezer Blay and Erin Montgomery — will be paid $26 per hour.According to Scheu, there are 49 juniors who will be seniors this fall who haven’t passed the AIR test.

• Approved the newly-drafted SCS school counseling framework.

•Approved a motion to opt out of the requirement to offer a career tech course at the middle school for the 2017-18 school year. Scheu said the Workforce Partnership class provides the same course work. It is taken on a pass/fail option as the instructor for the class, Renee Davis, isn’t a certified teacher.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 21, 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.