School board looks to improve facilities

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2012


COAL GROVE — At Monday night’s meeting, the Dawson-Bryant Board of Education approved several motions to begin the process of renovating and repairing several structures in the district.

First on the agenda was the third- through fifth-grade playground at the elementary school.

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“We’ve got a mess out there,” Superintendent Dennis DeCamp said.

He reported to the board in February that every time there are heavy rains, the mulch on the playground washes down the hillside towards the school building. He presented photos of the area showing more mulch around the fence line than on the actual playground.

Elementary Principal Angie Dillow said the children are able to use it on most days, but when the weather is bad, the ground is too muddy. She also said students can use the playground at the front of the school when this is an issue.

“Mr. DeCamp has been working this year to have a better drainage system installed to fix the problem,” Dillow said. “We just don’t want to take the playground away completely at this point, so we are waiting until summer (to repair it).”

The board approved Triad Engineering Firm to come out to the playground and develop a proposal.

DeCamp said an option may be working to divert rainwater towards a nearby creek away from the school building. The firm would also give the district options for new surface materials, whether it be a higher quality mulch, rubber or turf.

The board also approved a project to renovate the press box for no more than $8,000.

The building’s roof is leaking and the wiring needs to be updated, DeCamp said.

“We want it to last,” board president DeAnna Holliday said about the renovation.

The board also talked about a handicap ramp installation on the home side of the football bleachers.

Holliday said she had previously heard requests from spectators that the addition is needed.

The proposed plan would add space for four to six wheelchairs and an additional person for each space. DeCamp said with labor and materials, the project would cost about $20,000.

The board requested that DeCamp bring the proposed plans to the next meeting so it could see if there would be adequate walk space after the project was completed before it approve the plans.

The track is also in need of repair, DeCamp told the board. He said water had gotten underneath it causing it to bubble in spots and if it wasn’t repaired soon, this may be the last year to use it competitively.

The board agreed that the track should be sealed properly after a renovation and asked DeCamp to get prices and proposals before any decisions are made.

With a lot of talk about spending money, DeCamp surprised the board with an announcement that the district was presented with another rebate check from American Electric Power. This time, the unexpected check was for $32,465.75.

This, added to a check the district received in February, puts rebates from AEP at more than $180,000 for the district.

The district has been making “green” improvements to its buildings through the Ohio School Facilities Commission Energy Conservation Program, or House Bill 264.

As a result of the many improvements, DeCamp said the district’s electric bills have been reduced by sometimes as much as 50 percent over last year’s energy costs.

“Compiled over the years it will be a whole lot better,” DeCamp said.

The board again agreed to put the rebate money into a HB 264 fund to be used to cover interest payments on the cost of the loan used for the project.

Based on an assessment by Sabo/Limbach Energy Services, and the ability to use HB 264, the district took out a $1.69 million dollar loan at about a 6 percent interest rate and to be re-paid over 15 years.


Follow Michelle Goodman on Twitter: @Michelle_Journo