Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
Board approves Head Start move
Franklin School to be vacated
By Tom Stankard
CELINA - The Mercer County Head Start Program soon will move to a different location.
Celina City Schools Board of Education members on Monday unanimously agreed to move the program from the Franklin School in Montezuma to the Education Complex in Celina by May 31.
Superintendent Ken Schmiesing said the Montezuma building needs a new well and its heating system is in "dire need" of being replaced.
The Environmental Protection Agency has notified the district about the need for the new well due to rusting of its casing. The cost could range from $30,000 to $70,000, Schmiesing said.
Inside the building, Schmiesing said the heating elements have "blisters" and need to be replaced. The heating system would cost about $1.2 million to replace, he noted.
Officials had been planning the move to the Education Complex for 2019, when Tri Star Career Compact's new complex is expected to be open. Tri Star classrooms and offices would then be moved to the new location, opening up space in the Education Complex.
"At this point, if we were planning on vacating the building within two years, it seems like a wise financial move to make at this point," Schmiesing said.
Schmiesing said he hopes board members will decide sometime this summer on the future of the Montezuma building. Head Start has been the district's only program in the building.
Moving will make Head Start transportation easier because most students live in the Celina area, he said.
The Head Start Program moved to the Franklin School building in 2010. The program has 130 students.
Head Start is a countywide preschool program serving children ages 3-5 who have a disability or whose families are income eligible.
Program director Amy Esser said officials are recruiting more students as funding is available for up to 158 children.
As fiscal agent, Celina City Schools receives an annual $1 million federal grant to facilitate the program, which covers all operating costs.
In other action, board members,
• approved a bus bid from Rush Truck Center of Ohio to purchase two 2018, 72-passenger buses for $80,743 each.
• accepted the retirement of primary school custodian Dean Ward, effective July 1, after 19 years of service.
• accepted the retirement of middle school secretary Michelle Hardesty, effective June 1, after 29 years of service.
• approved an overnight trip to Clinton-Massie High School for the Ohio Association of Student Councils State Conference for the high school student council on April 27-28.