Southern Local BOE considers future projects | News, Sports, Jobs


SALINEVILLE — The Southern Local’s board of directors began looking at some projects they would like to see in the district’s near future during last week’s education council meeting.

With a roof in need of repairs, Treasurer Greg Sabbato said there is currently about $3 million available in the general fund and he expects it will take about half of that to cover the costs.

Additionally, the council envisioned a long-standing neighborhood need, an auditorium where music concerts, theater performances, and graduations could take place. Since the high school was built in 1962, the only stage has been at one end of the cafeteria.

Since then there has been the additional space that began construction in 2002 to eventually move the entire K-12 district under one roof.

Sabbato said there is money left in the permanent improvement fund, which will at least get the auditorium project off the ground. With interest rates low, Sabbato said they might also consider borrowing the extra money needed.

Only in the preliminary stages, the board heard from two representatives from Garmann Miller, an architecture and engineering firm specializing in creating spaces for K-12 education clients. Ben Miller, an engineer and business development professional whose father was a 29-year-old company founder, and Matt Hibner, the company’s principal architect, joined Southern Local’s board of directors electronically. with a video presentation.

The pair shared photos of some of the company’s former auditoriums built for schools, mostly in central and western Ohio, as well as eastern Indiana. The company started in the small town of Minster, Ohio, near the Indiana border. The company now has 59 employees and additional offices in Columbus and Indianapolis.

However, Miller emphasized that the company understands small communities and the importance of the school in a rural area. The company showed the board some of the auditoriums designed and built for other schools, many of which offer seating for 600 to 700 people, theatrical lighting, acoustic materials and control rooms. Others include the ability to adjust them for cafeteria space or split the room for smaller crowds or with deployable bleachers to increase seating when needed. Additionally, there were examples of how stages can be made fully accessible for people with disabilities and another with features to remove part of the stage for a pit orchestra.

While it’s undecided whether Southern Local would pursue an attached auditorium or a stand-alone building, the men offered that they’d like to look at the school’s current layout and the lack of parking someone mentioned. The company would examine whether the school’s current systems could handle the additional space.

After the presentation, Superintendent Tom Cunningham said they would talk about the information and board members said they might want to talk to some of the company’s past customers. It was noted that Southern Local is located farther east than all the other schools on the list.

In other subjects:

— Council voted to add replacements to the list — Dawn Spooner, janitor and cafeteria, and Mackenzie Reynolds, cafeteria and secretary. Additionally, the board approved Brian Spahlinger as a volunteer assistant coach for the varsity and JV baseball team, as well as changing Mark Witherow’s status from volunteer women’s basketball assistant to women’s basketball coach. JV for last season.

— The board authorized Sabbato to pay the state teachers’ pension system additional amounts owed after a calculation error was discovered.

— The board approved a contract amendment providing for leave and severance pay for employees Tammy Phillips, Rob Marra, Charlie Puckett, Julie Dowling, Whitney Tsesmilles and Josh Manist. It was noted that the union contracts with the district spell out the policies for severance and vacation pay, but the non-union employees did not mention anything.

– The board approved the school calendar for 2022-2023, with school starting August 22 for students and including December 19 to January 2 for winter break, April 7 to 14 for spring break and the last day for students June 5th.

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