Bellefontaine Examiner

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New schools being readied for August opening

The fresh smell of newly installed flooring and furniture greeted Bellefontaine City Schools Board of Education members Monday evening as they took a tour of the new elementary school and middle school that are nearing completion on Ludlow Road.

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ABOVE: Bellefontaine City Schools Superintendent Beth Harman, left, shows board of education members and their families the gymnasium at the new middle school. FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Bellefontaine Schools Board of Education members and administrators walk Monday evening toward the entrance of the new grades 6-8 middle school that will open this fall. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | MANY LOEHR)

School officials led the group through the buildings following a brief regular meeting.

On the approximately 65-acre lot, the new grades K-2 elementary school and grades 6-8 middle school are being completed through a $35.93 million Ohio School Facilities Commission project with general contractors Ferguson Construction Co. of Sidney.

“It’s a great gift to our kids and the community,” Superintendent Beth Harman said while walking the grounds.

Teachers will begin moving into the facilities Aug. 1, and an open house to showcase the buildings to the community is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 25, with that date subject to change, the superintendent said.

Inside the two-story elementary building, at approximately 81,000-square-feet, carpeting has recently been installed, and some furniture sits in boxes around the hallways, waiting to be set up in the various classrooms.

Signs with a small Chieftain logo designate the offices, classrooms and other areas can be seen throughout the building. Red painted accents also are incorporated in both schools.

This facility will house 10 kindergarten classrooms and 22 elementary classrooms, along with a 5,000-square-foot gym.

Larger extended learning areas also exist outside some of the classrooms, where students will be able to gather in front of a white board and SMART board equipment, Mrs. Harman said.

While the finishing touches are being made to the elementary school, the middle school fell slightly behind schedule after water damage was sustained during the spring. A water pipe burst on the first floor that houses the sixth-grade classrooms, as previously reported in the Examiner.

“We had to pull up all of the cabinetry on that floor after the pipe burst,” the superintendent explained. “Fortunately, we had not installed tile or carpeting at that time, but some tile that was being stored in boxes was damaged.”

“But we’re making a lot of progress and we’re finishing up the work in here as well.”

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Bill Badenhop, Bellefontaine City Schools business manager, left, and board member Tim O’Rielley check out a cooler in the fully-equipped kitchen of the new city schools elementary building during a tour Monday night.

The 87,000-square-foot middle school will contain 20 classrooms, in addition to six project laboratories, a 1,818-square-foot visual arts room, an 8,500-square-foot gymnasium, and other specialty areas.

One wing of the middle school will include three floors, with classrooms on each level to be designated by grade level.

After seeing both buildings, board members said they were eagerly awaiting the first day of school for students in the fall.

“This is incredible. The staff and kids are going to be so excited,” member Dr. Todd Heydinger said.

“It’s just amazing to see all of the changes,” added member Anne Reames.

During the regular meeting, members approved a resolution to place the district’s property, a house at 336 E. Colton Ave., that is adjacent to Southeastern Elementary School, up for public auction.

The minimum bid for the house has been set as $35,000, and the district will give notice of the date of the sale in the Examiner.

Members said the property previously had been purchased by the district as potential additional classroom space for the former elementary school, but it is no longer needed with the construction of the new elementary facility.

In other action, the board:

• accepted the resignations of Jennifer Frederick, high school language arts, effective June 20, and the resignation of Jessica Kiefer, middle school language arts, effective June 17;

• accepted the supplemental contract resignations of Matthew Gallaway, assistant football; and Robert Rogan, head seventh-grade football;

• appointed Justine Elton as a middle school language arts teacher, effective Aug. 16;

• extended supplemental contracts to Annie Kauffman, freshman volleyball; and Courtney Smith, JV volleyball;

• extended supplemental contracts for extra teaching blocks to Benjamin Davis, Aaron Garver, Katina Godwin, Travis Hunsicker, Kristy Mount and Cari Beth Noah;

• approved $2,000 stipends to be paid from Race to the Top funds to the following instructional team leaders for 2013-14 for each grade level: D.J. Howell, Cathy Ulmer, Katie Davis, Susan Stahler, Christy Garver, Kyle Daring, Amy Van Horn, Cliff Core, Jill Carey, Mary Smith, Jean Minnick, Maureen Simon, Karen Scott, Sandi Chervenak, Melanie Antram-Ingraham; and for the stipend to be split between Gay Brunswick and Leslie Regula; and Brian Hogan and Jim Robinson;

• approved a continuing food service contract for the Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center to provide breakfast and lunch to the Mac-A-Cheek Learning Center;

• approved a resolution to comply with Senate Bill 165 regarding the implementation of end-of-course exams for American History and American Government courses beginning with the 2013-14 school year;

• approved the amended certificate of estimated resources for the fiscal year beginning July 1, along with the supplemental appropriation resolution, and temporary appropriation resolution;

• approved the newly revised teacher evaluations policy for the upcoming school year;

• approved the elementary handbooks for the upcoming school year; and

• approved the high school athletic code for the upcoming year.

The board will only meet once next month — 6:30 p.m. July 22 at the board office.

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