School additions discussed


By Drew Stambaugh - [email protected]



Swanton Police Chief Adam Berg, left, introduced school resource officer Charles Kessinger to the board on Tuesday.

Swanton Police Chief Adam Berg, left, introduced school resource officer Charles Kessinger to the board on Tuesday.


The Swanton Board of Education took an initial step last week in the process to build elementary school additions. The board approved a resolution authorizing the superintendent and treasurer to enter into contract negotiations for professional design services with the firm ranked most qualified as presented.

That firm is Munger Munger + Associates of Toledo, and representatives were at the meeting to give board members more information about potential improvements at district school buildings.

The total cost of the addition and renovation project was estimated at $5.14 million. Four rooms would be added onto Crestwood Elementary and four rooms added onto Park Elementary School. Renovations would also be done to a small section of the high school to allow for preschool classrooms. If approved, this would allow the district to close the middle school building before next school year.

Grades K-3 would be housed at Crestwood Elementary School, while grades 4-8 would be at Park.

An electric panel and service upgrade will be needed at Crestwood Elementary to accommodate the new space. It will not be needed at Park, because it was upgraded when the gymnasium was built.

Also presented were the plans for Fisher Gymnasium once the current middle school is demolished. It would be a stand-alone building with the gym, locker rooms, and remodeled bathrooms, according to the plans. The steam heating system would no longer be used.

The board could decide at the next meeting how to fund the project. It could be funded out of the district’s cash flow or partially or fully financed.

Board member Dave Smith said at this time he didn’t feel comfortable funding the entire project with the district’s cash flow, mentioning possible unforeseen issues for which money would be needed. At least partially financing the project is an option.

“That way, if there’s an issue we don’t have our backs against the wall,” said Smith.

Any bids for the project would still have to be approved by the school board. That could happen in November or December, according to Superintendent Jeff Schlade.

Also at the meeting, Swanton Police Chief Adam Berg introduced Officer Charles Kessinger, who will serve as a school resource officer. Kessinger, a certified school resource officer, will be in the district part time. His primary duties will be on the road, but will be in the schools more often than an officer is now.

“I didn’t feel as of right now we needed a full-time officer in the schools,” said Berg. “I don’t have the funds to dedicate someone that way, and I don’t feel like I need to ask for funds from the school right now.”

Kessinger will also serve as a liaison between the school and Berg.

He’s going to be in and out of the building, Berg said, but will be more visible to students and staff.

“I feel like seeing us in a more positive light helps, especially with the younger students,” said Berg. “Unless you’ve lived in a hole the last couple years, [you know] law enforcement hasn’t really had the best reputation lately. We want the kids to trust us and not see us only when something bad happens.”

Kessinger said he looks forward to being in the schools.

Board member Kris Oberheim said, “I’m extremely grateful this opportunity is here.”

Other business

• The board approved donations, including $1,000 from Lucy Chimney to the permanent improvement fund, $1,000 from Swanton Rotary to the permanent improvement fund, $1,509.60 from Parents Club to the Crestwood Elementary Principal’s Fund, and $986.82 from Parents Club to Park Elementary Principal’s Fund.

• The board approved a Memorandum of Understanding to allow the NwOESC to assist Swanton Local Schools with the implementation of the after-school program.

• The board approved $432.38 to pay membership fees for the Ohio Schools Council.

Swanton Police Chief Adam Berg, left, introduced school resource officer Charles Kessinger to the board on Tuesday.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/23/2016/09/web1_School-Resource-officer.jpgSwanton Police Chief Adam Berg, left, introduced school resource officer Charles Kessinger to the board on Tuesday.

By Drew Stambaugh

[email protected]

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise