The Wauseon school district will get a $3.1 million overhaul of its energy program, a project the administrators say will pay for itself in cost savings.
Board of Education members on Monday approved a letter of intent with Dynamix Energy Services of Columbus to replace faulty HVAC equipment, switch to LED lighting, refinance a solar array already in place, and install a temperature control system overseeing all district school buildings.
During a lengthy presentation, Dynamix Energy representative Jeff Feasby outlined improvements the company will make to the school district from an energy perspective. Feasby cited humidity issues with the HVAC system at the primary school, high energy usage at the elementary/middle school complex, and the need to replace an air chiller in the high school HVAC unit.
The mechanical and lighting upgrades and the district-wide temperature control system will markedly increase energy efficiency in the school district, so that the $3,133,747 cost of the project will eventually be recouped in savings, Feasby said.
“In my opinion, there’s no risk here,” Treasurer Dave Fleming told board members.
The project could begin in as soon as three weeks.
Monday’s meeting, held at the high school auditorium to abide by social distancing restrictions, began with a presentation by Curt Crew, the district’s technology coordinator, and his assistant Josh Oyer about the district’s technological capabilities.
Board members also heard a lengthy pitch from Don Clark, director of bands, and Jason Robinson, director of high school stage productions, regarding a proposed capital modernization project to upgrade the high school auditorium. The facility has not seen many major improvements since it was built in 1977.
Clark said while the approximately 760-seat auditorium is an acoustical sweet spot it’s in dire need of of an upgrade. “This is actually one of the nicest spaces in terms of acoustics…That being said, you can see it needs a little TLC along the way,” he said.
Suggestions included new chairs from Sauder Woodworking in Archbold, an expanded control room that would eliminate some back row seating, a larger lobby area outside the auditorium with improved restrooms, and replacement of an aging projector and the original stage curtains and floor, which present fire and safety hazards, respectively, due to their deteriorated conditions.
A total cost for the project has not been estimated. However, Clark placed the cost of replacing the stage curtains at $150,000 and the projector at $30,000.
“Frankly, I just think that it’s not up to the standards that Wauseon Exempted Village Schools expects,” he said of the auditorium. “It’s definitely time for some modernization, it’s time for some updating. Certainly, safety issues have crept in.”
Armstrong said Tuesday the proposed long-term project is in the preliminary stage of discussion. He said a committee will be formed to assess and prioritize the auditorium’s needs.
Clark told the board members that, despite the need for improvements, the school district has one of the finer auditoriums in the area.
“The bones of this space are really, really nice. There are very few high school auditoriums…that are good for both instrumental and vocal, and we’re lucky,” he said.
In other business, donations to the school district included: $1,000 from Kendra Denton to the school district for the Joe Sevenich Step On The Starter Scholarship; $100 from the Fulton County Farm Bureau and $335 from Alex Pursel, Wauseon FFA Alumni, respectively, to the FFA program; $500 from Timothy Suter, Wauseon Rotary, and $1,000 from Jerry and Judy Smith for the elementary school food pantry; 140 $10 Skye Cinema gift certificates from Cabe Cordy Insurance for the district’s teaching staff; $100 from Worthington Industries for the district’s SOAR program; $14,550 from Wauseon Athletic Boosters for varsity football uniforms; $1,551.28 from True North Church to pay off student lunch debts; and $217 from community members for Class of 2020 mask materials and labor from Stephanie Wanless to make the masks.
Board members approved motions for the following: modifications and supplemental modifications to both the Fiscal Year 2020 permanent appropriations and certificate of estimated resources; to adopt Fiscal Year 2021 permanent appropriations totaling $24,823,933.24; to authorize participation by the school district in the Title I – ECSE, Title II – 21st Century, Title III – Federal Breakfast and Lunch, Title IV – Elementary and School Emergency Fund Relief, and IDEA-B programs; to establish change funds for Fiscal Year 2021; and to appoint the treasurer or assistant thereof as the board’s designee to attend public record training.
Other approved motions included: the second reading of a NEOLA bylaw policy revision regarding inter-district open enrollment; grades K-12 breakfast price of $2, lunch price of $3.15, and milk price of 75 cents; adult breakfast and lunch prices of $3 and $4, respectively, and a high school a la carte lunch price of $2; setting the Insurance Protection fund payment for the 1:1 Initiative at $30 for the 2020-21 school year; setting the school supply/workbook fees at $35 for grades K-12 for the 2020-21 school year; approval of a memorandum of understanding for the Wauseon Eduction Association MOU; and an agreement between the school district and the Northwest Ohio Juvenile Detention, Training, and Rehabilitation Center at $44 per student per day.
In personnel matters, the board approved: the Rachel Wixey and Associates Substitute List; a one-year limited certificated contract to Derek Rupp as a high school science teacher; one-year limited classified contracts to Trenton Sauber as assistant maintenance supervisor effective July 1, and Laura Nafziger as primary school librarian, pending a clean background check; one-year classified contracts to Shaina Baldwin as an elementary school teacher aide and Susana McLeod as an elementary school playground aide; a classified continuing contract to Erin Cheesbro as a bus driver; the transfers of McKalyn Roth from primary school teacher to fifth grade teacher, Kayla Wyse from special education secretary to special education assistant, and April Jackson from middle school teacher’s aide to elementary school teacher’s aide; and the resignations of Travis Cooper as high school science teacher effective at the close of the current school year, Michelle Myers as full-time bus driver effective Aug. 14, Christopher Yackee as full-time bus driver effective June 1, Vicki Kline as substitute bus driver effective May 28, and Christine Torres as middle school cook effective June 30; unpaid leave for Jean LaFountain effective Sept. 1; one-year limited supplemental contracts to Jessica Gerig for the elementary school Student Council and Anna Vogelgesang for the elementary school choir; and a $3,000 stipend for Blake Young, CCIP coordinator.
The board entered into executive session to discuss a personnel issue. No action was taken.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.