New Roof for SCES is set

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Switzerland County Elementary School will get a badly needed new roof this summer after a bid for the work was awarded at Monday night’s meeting of the Switzerland County School Board.

The new roof is a joint effort of the school board and the Switzerland County Endowment Corporation, who has agreed to pay for the roof through funds received from riverboat revenue sharing.

Superintendent Tracy Caddell said that the school received bids from two different companies for the work, with each company bidding on three different roof grades.

The company of Kramer and Sons from Miamitown, Ohio, was the winning bidder, with the school board accepting the recommendation to put the TPO grade of roofing on the building at a cost of $472,000.

Superintendent Caddell said that everyone involved was pleased with the bids, and noted that the Endowment Corporation had been putting money back from draws over the past year in anticipation of the roof costing over $1 million.

The lower bid means that the school will also see two other projects handled over the summer — new exterior doors and a new skylight over the garden near the library.

The exterior doors will be installed by Suburban Glass at a cost of $108,000; while Kramer and Sons will also handle the skylight replacement at a cost of $53,000.

Mark Lohide, a member of the Endowment Corporation, was on hand at Monday’s meeting to discuss another option with the school board.

The current skylight in the building actually resembles a series of blocks stacked on top of each other to form a triangle shape with flat panels. The new skylight will be a three-dimensional pyramid shape, 25 square feet in surface.

“When the new skylight gets placed, a portion of it will be sitting on the roof and not visible from the inside, because of the shape of the hole that it’s going to sit over,” Mark Lohide said. “One possibility is to enlarge the skylight hole before the new one is placed so that the entire new skylight can be seen.”

The superintendent said that since that additional work was not part of the bid specifications, the board would need to wait until the contractors got on site and gave them an estimate of what the additional work would cost.

The school board seemed in agreement that, should the cost not be prohibitive, it made sense to enlarge the skylight before the new roof was put in place.

Work is expected to begin as soon as school is out this summer.

The school board also took the Jefferson-Craig Elementary School water line problem to the endowment corporation. The school is finishing out the year without the use of the bathrooms in the core area of the building, and also the drinking fountains.

Students do have access to restroom facilities in the gym locker rooms, in the middle school, and the bathrooms located in the concession stand on the playground, and all of the sinks in the classrooms are operating, so students can get a drink of water.

The bathroom in the nurse’s office is also working.

The superintendent said that the problem is in the water lines that run underground; while other areas are serviced by water pipes running overhead.

The school board will ask the Endowment Corporation for $8,232 to abandon the underground pipes and run new pipes overhead so that water service can be restored in those parts of the building.

The Endowment Corporation is expected to consider the funding at its next meeting.

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Switzerland County music teacher Bill Kindle was honored Monday night for his 31 years of service to the corporation. He will be retiring at the end of this school year.

Superintendent Caddell and high school principal Derek Marshall spoke about the impact that Bill Kindle has had in the school; both working with students and also as the head of the high school’s “school improvement team”.

During closing comments, school board member Andy Truitt, a former student of Bill Kindle’s, thanked the music teacher for his dedication, and also for the individual attention and guidance that he had provided to Andy Truitt when he was in school.

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In other business of the school board:

— New changes being considered at the state level could impact graduation requirements here in the coming years. Guidance director Denise Loaring updated the board on some of the proposed changes, including the addition of a “Core 40 with Technical Honors” diploma. She said any changes made at the state level will probably go into effect with the 2007-2008 school year.

— The board received a report from the school bus disciple committee, which made a recommendation for discipline procedures when students misbehave on the bus. That recommendation was accepted by the school board.

— The school’s Wellness Policy, which will mean more healthy snack options and healthy drink options for students in the schools as a part of the “No Child Left Behind” federal education legislation, was adopted by the board.

A policy on homework was also adopted.

— The school board also adopted a policy recommended by the state that forbids “redshirting”. This policy makes it impossible to retain a student at a grade level solely for the purpose of helping them excel in athletics, similar to college’s “redshirting” players to give them an extra year to mature.

— Changes in the student handbooks and the adoption of new textbooks for the coming year were approved.

— Professional leave requests and use of facilities requests were approved as presented.

— In personnel matters: the resignation of bus driver Patricia Simpson was accepted; the superintendent was given the authority to hire summer school personnel as needed; and B.J. McAlister was approved as a volunteer boys golf coach through the end of this season.

— It was noted that the board’s July meeting will need to be held one week early, on July 12th, in order to comply with state reorganization requirements.

— The next meeting of the Switzerland County School Board will be held on Monday, June 19th. The meeting will be held in the corporation offices on Seminary Street in Vevay; and is open to the public.