Swanton Local Schools moved forward last week with a building plan that would lead to the closure of the current Swanton Middle School building. The board passed a resolution to authorize advertising for bids for the project and a resolution related to financing a portion of the project.
Both resolutions passed by a vote of 4-1, with Chris Nijakowski voting no.
Separate or combined bids will be received by the district for general trades contract, plumbing contract, HVAC contract, electrical contract, and demolition contract. The estimated cost of that work is $4,586,238.
Under the plan, Crestwood Elementary School on Crestwood Drive would become a K-4 building, and Park Elementary School on Elton Parkway would become a building for grades 5-8. Preschool would be moved to the high school building, and the current middle school and 1904 building would be demolished, with the exception of Fisher Gymnasium.
The addition currently planned at Park School would include a band room and choir rooms at the west end of the building. One alternative, which could be approved or rejected by the school board, is the addition of a lunch room to the west of the gymnasium. The board had previously discussed the physical education limitations that would be likely without a new lunch room.
At Crestwood, the addition would be on the north end of the current building and include six new classrooms. Pick-up and drop-off at the school can be an issue now, and adding two grades could exacerbate the problem.
“We are in discussions with the village and our administration on ideas for Crestwood Elementary School pick-up/drop-off improvements,” said Superintendent Jeff Schlade. “However, we are just in the preliminary talks about that.”
Preschool classes in the district will move to the northwest wing of the high school. Three preschool classrooms are planned with the idea of expanding the preschool program in the school district.
The board accepted donations including $1,800 from Savage & Associates to the permanent improvement fund, $1,000 from State Farm to the permanent improvement fund, and $800 from Sons of the American Legion Post #479 to the girls soccer team fundraiser account.
The school board approved an Ashland University internship agreement that allows an Ashland student to student teach in Swanton Local Schools.
A resolution approved the annual eighth grade field trip to Washington, D.C., scheduled for May 17-21.
Multiple personnel items were approved by the board by a vote of 4-1. Nijakowski voted no.
Approvals included one-year classified contracts for Stella Foote, playground/lunch aide and David Baumbarger, bus driver. Supplemental contracts were approved for Cory Lehman, seventh grade boys basketball; Joseph Carone, freshman/assistant wrestling; Allen Falls, assistant varsity boys basketball; and Xavier Taylor, junior high wrestling.
Middle school principal Matt Smith reported that the Character Committee has put together a great program to help encourage students to exhibit excellent character traits. Each month, they will focus on a different characteristic or theme, and students and teachers will look out for a student that has displayed remarkable strength in that area.
Smith also reported that the eighth grade volleyball team defended its title from seventh grade by winning the NWOAL championship.
High school principal Jason Longbrake reported that Homecoming participation by students and staff was “extraordinary” this year. A FAFSA info night was also held at the school.
Elementary school principal Paulette Baz reported on literacy testing on the district. She also mentioned that the Backpack Buddies program is in full swing, with the Table Settings event to benefit the program slated for Nov. 13.
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010 or on Twitter @Swan_Enterprise