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Edison Board Reorganizes, Talks Projects

The Edison Local Board of Education got organized for the new year and addressed myriad subjects from projects to personnel on Wednesday.

   In the first of two sessions, the board returned Aaron Richardson and Ron Smyth to lead the panel as president and vice president during an organizational meeting. Richardson thanked the group for having faith in him and electing him again while Smyth echoed the comments. Additionally, Smyth was selected as legislative liaison and a delegate to the Ohio School Boards Association’s annual conference.

   The subsequent regular meeting included a discussion on a potential loop extension around John Gregg Elementary to improve traffic flow and safety, as well as a possible upgrade in the Edison High School gym. Superintendent Bill Beattie said he was looking into updates at John Gregg that officials believe would improve the traffic flow as well as safety.

   “The board is interested in making one continuous loop around the building instead of a U-turn at the back,” he explained. “I thought [the estimate] was lower than I anticipated. There are increases to today’s construction prices with a little cushion just to be safe.”

   During the discussion, leaders noted possibly adding a retaining wall or improving the grade of a hill in the rear of the school. Richardson asked if there would be enough supervision during drop-off and pick-ups, to which Beattie replied there was. Smyth noted it would relieve any congestion in that area while board member Josh McConnell mentioned the back of the building was currently two-way traffic. Officials also commented on drainage issues as well as traffic matters near the staff parking area.

   “It seems like everyone’s a proponent for it,” McConnell added. “We could at least put it out to bid and look at it in March, then decide if it’s worth spending the money to do.”

   Beattie later said there was no timeline on the project and officials might review bid specifications and related matters in the spring.

   Meanwhile, the superintendent mentioned the possibility of upgrading the bleachers in the old gym at EHS. He said there he bleachers were inspected and found to have wear, and was reviewing cost estimates for making repairs versus a full replacement.

   “We talked about changing the wood and the estimate to replace the wood and [make repairs] is $53,000,” Beattie commented. “Are we better off spending $117,200 [on a replacement] or spending $53,000 now and have to do updates later?”

   He said it has been a concern for several years, and if the board agreed it would need done as a summertime project. Officials said they would review it further.

   Among other action, the board:

–Approved the final reading of a policy for selected staff members to administer Narcan during emergencies. Beattie said the school resource officers are already equipped through the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to handle situations and staff members would be trained by the county health department to respond if necessary;

— Approved the resignations of bus drivers Dave Dock and Tracy McCain and filled the posts by hiring Aric Bernhart and Barb Mazzaferro. Officials also approved the resignation of EHS computer teacher Erik Kaufman and accepted Emily Waggoner for the position.

–Approved Chelsey Cline as a substitute teacher;

–Approved the supplemental list including Jason Fogle as head track coach, Nick Angelini as assistant track coaches, Dawn Cable and Bill Koehnlein as junior high track coaches and Keely Drabick, Jamie Evans, Faith Hoobler and Anwaa Martin as volunteer track coaches;

–Discussed hiring new instructors to oversee career pathways courses at the high school. EHS is planning to add new Vo Ag and engineering programs to the curriculum and will seek personnel for those positions;

–Was lauded for their service as part of School Board Recognition Month and Beattie said a celebratory dinner was being planned prior to the next board session. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. in the board office at Stanton Elementary School.

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