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OKs purchase of land
|By BETTY LAWRENCE
The Daily Standard
MENDON - Parkway Local Schools board of education authorized the
purchase of 28.008 acres of land to the tune of $221,263.20 at the Monday night board
meeting held at the intermediate school.
Along with the hefty land purchase, the board also heard from
Parkway Education Association (PEA) members who objected to the board's recent decision to
give unequal pay raises to administrators.
The land purchase comes after four years of working on the deal and is
planned to be the site of a proposed new school building project. The site is south of the
current school facilities and west of Ohio 118 behind Colonial Nursing Home and New
The fate of the proposed school construction project will be determined
when an 8.8-mill levy appears on the ballot on Nov. 5. The levy is necessary, school
officials say, to raise Parkway's share of the $35.8 million project. The Ohio School
Facilities Commission is funding the majority of the project with Parkway school district
responsible for paying $11.75 million.
"We have been planning for the future. We purchased the 16 acres
beside it (28 acres) two years ago, making for a total 44 acres for the new building
site," Superintendent Doug Karst said.
The land was purchased from the Aliceruth Kimmel family at $7,900 per
The proposed construction project includes building a one-site school
complex on the land just purchased and no longer using the old school facilities in
Willshire, Mendon and some in Rockford. The old buildings could be torn down with the OSFC
covering $1.5 million of the demolition cost.
Karst suggested offering the old schools and the land where they are
located back to the villages at a nominal fee.
"A lot of people have been asking what is the plan of the school board
concerning the three buildings. I say, if the school district is at a central site, it is
not feasible to keep the buildings and we should offer the land and property back to the
villages (Mendon and Willshire) for a nominal fee," Karst said.
Board member Jeff Long recommended a written statement by a legal
counsel to allow the board to do that.
Karst cited the Ohio Revised Code, noting that if a tax exempt entity
purchased the building, the deal can be negotiated directly. However, if a
private individual bought it, the building would have to be sold through a public
The current school building in Rockford that houses the high school
would have to be looked at differently, Karst added.
"The land is too valuable and we can't make the same deal (as the
Mendon and Willshire sites)," he said.
Long and board member Kim Brandt said the land should be kept by the
school district since it abuts the proposed building site.
The final decision on the fate of the buildings rests with the board,
with consideration from the villages, Karst said.
In other discussion, PEA President Anita Morton read a letter citing
the concerns the PEA has with the board giving six administrators raises and two
administrators no raise at all.
"The PEA is deeply concerned about the recent inequity in the
administrative salaries," a portion of the letter reads. "We believe the only
fair way to increase salaries is through equal percentages to all administrators."
The board did not give raises to high school Principal Bill
and Dean of Students Gregg Goewert.
But did award Karst a 4.8 percent raise; intermediate school Principal
Mark Esselstein a 3.4 percent raise; elementary Principal Michelle Duncan, 3.4 percent;
middle school Principal Steve Baumgartner, 3.8 percent; board Treasurer Tammy Muhlenkamp,
5.4 percent; and the school's technology director, 3 percent.
A representative of the Parkway high school faculty offered the
facultyıs support for Steinbrunner and Goewert, saying equal treatment should be adhered
"The evaluations were done by Mr. Karst, and we did none
ourselves. We should have the opportunity," said PEA member Bill Wynk.
Long responded to the PEA letter by saying, "This was not a good
year to give raises. We read the evaluations and job descriptions and that's what we used.
I'm for paying and keeping good people, but the time is not right. It is hoped we can get
He previously had cited the gloomy economic condition, raises that were
granted last year and job performance as key factors in the board's
Karst said he will work on updating the employee job descriptions,
which the PEA also asked for in the letter.
In other action, board members:
- Entered into a contract with Celina City Schools for hearing impaired
services for two preschool students for the current school year. Cost of the service is
$36 per hour for four hours a week, plus mileage.
- Entered into a service agreement with Dayton Trace Company for
service and maintenance on the heating and cooling units in the 1976 addition at the
Rockford building. The pact is for one year at a cost of $2,805.
- Entered into an agreement with a one-year fee of $2,800 with Sylcom
Safety Specialists for providing the required safety training sessions for employees,
compiling and reviewing chemical inventories and assisting with OSHA compliance.
- Authorized the superintendent to advertise for bids for two school
buses. One will be a conventional 72-passenger bus and one will be a conventional special
needs bus with capabilities for up to five wheelchair tie-downs.
- Hired Faith White as choir accompanist at the middle school for $15
an hour up to four hours a week.
- Approved Becky Shope as volunteer assistant to the high school
- Hired Eric Stachler as assistant girls' high school basketball coach,
Suzann Opperman as eighth-grade girls' basketball coach, Jake Davis as
seventh-grade girls' basketball coach, Rusty Allen as head boys' basketball coach, Don
Miller as assistant boys' basketball coach, Greg Slusher as assistant boys' basketball
coach, Greg Grime as eight-grade boys' basketball coach and John Archer as seventh-grade
boys' basketball coach.
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