United schools look to future building project

The United school board this past week hired a firm to prepare for a possible building project.

The board approved an agreement with SHP Architects for pre-professional design services for an Ohio Schools Facility project to renovate or build at the K-12 campus. The board in February took action to allow for the agreement thanks to revenue generated by the revaluation of the natural gas collection and processing plant in Kensington.

Last month the board approved a resolution rescinding a request for the Ohio School Facility Commission (OSFC) to establish a new scope, estimated basic project cost and local shared in the classroom facilities assistance program (LAPSED) for last year, then approved another resolution to request the OSFC to do the same for this year. The board must make the resolutions each year in case it decides to pursue a building project.

 The board has been staying in touch with the OSFC since making multiple attempts several years ago to rebuild and renovate portions of the school campus.

Voters rejected those attempts and the board has since been tackling renovations in pieces as money allows.

Schools Superintendent Lance Hostetler said  SHP will work with the district to help decide if building is a good pathway, and if so, helps with community and staff engagement.

In other business, the board approved the purchase of a 2020 Thomas bus from Myers Equipment of Canfield at a cost of $89,545.

The board also approved an agreement with Wills Mobility & Vision Services LLC. to provide vision, instructional, support and planning services for the 2019-2020 school year at rate of $125 per hour and to remain a member of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding for the 2019-2020 school year at 50 cents per student ($577 October, ADM).

Also at the meeting, the board accepted donations of $200 from Garfield Elementary to FFA, $100 from Little League Softball to the Athletic Department for Port-A-Johns, $1,640 from Dr. Marhefka (sports physicals) to the athletic department, $1,000 from National Honor Society to the Ruriteens for the Honors Banquet, $50 anonymously to Ruriteens for Honors Banquet, $250 from PTO to Ruriteens for Honors Banquet, $1,956.25 from the fifth-grade Lemonade Day to the Back Pack Program, $103.90 from the Art Show and $160 previously awarded to Kelly DeVille from Donor’s Choice to be used for two flexible wobble chairs. 

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. July 17 in the high school library.