BEAVER TOWNSHIP- The pedestrian tunnel and turning lane project joining the South Range Local K-12 campus and the school's sports complex has been moved up to next summer.
Schools Superintendent Dennis Dunham reported at the school board meeting Monday night that the project, federally funded at no cost to the district through Eastgate Regional Council of Governments and Ohio Department of Transportation District 4, has been rescheduled for the summer of 2013 instead of the originally estimated 2014. He said preliminary meetings with Eastgate and ODOT will continue throughout the school year in preparation of the project.
The project includes installation of left turn lanes in the north and south bound lanes of state Route 46 at the entrances to the K-12 campus and the Phil & Gerry Rominger Sports Complex located on the opposite side of the roadway, as well as a pedestrian tunnel under the roadway to provide safe access between the facilities.
Due to the tunnel, though, the farmhouse which houses the new board offices next to the sports complex must be moved or demolished in order to align the entrances of the two campuses and accommodate the road widening for the turn lanes, Dunham said.
The board recently sold the old offices in North Lima to Lindy Paving from New Galilee, Pa., for $225,000 and Dunham said the proceeds from the sale will enable the district to relocate the offices to the K-12 campus, either by adding on to the campus, by relocating and renovating the existing building next to the campus or by purchasing property with an existing structure for the offices in close proximity to the campus. He said a feasibility study is under way to determine the most cost-effective and efficient long-term solution.
The district is already using the sports complex for competitive activities including middle school and freshman football games, Dunham noted. He said portable bleachers are in place and spectators bring their own chairs.
Dunham said the complex does not have the infrastructure needed in terms of power, restroom facilities, concessions, lighting, scoreboard or other necessities to support larger venues, so varsity football and soccer games will remain at the North Lima stadium indefinitely. Preliminary studies have been conducted to determine the cost associated with bringing the stadium at the complex up to code, he said, noting that it will have to be funded through a capital fund raising campaign as no general fund money is available.
In other news, Dunham reported that the South Range Local Schools Foundation purchased 200 iPads for the school.
Dunham said the foundation leased iPads for each teacher and will be providing each building wing a cart of 30 iPads for student use. With the additional technology the teachers will have greater flexibility in the classroom through more diverse methods, he explained, making classrooms fully compatible with online teaching and learning platforms.
Dunham also reported that the district has implemented a bully/safety tip line this fall through its communication tool used to make cancellation, delay and important announcements. Students, parents, staff or community members will be able to anonymously record a message regarding any situation that requires immediate attention, he said. All calls will receive an incident number and be forwarded to appropriate authorities.
Additionally Dunham reminded residents that the district has a 2.4-mill, 10-year renewal levy on the November ballot. Generating approximately $430,555 annually, the levy enables the district to maintain its level of operation, he said. He reminded residents that it is a renewal levy and will not raise tax rates.
The board also approved the 2013 fiscal year appropriations, with expenditures forecasted to increase .69 percent from last year.
The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the K-12 campus.
Kevin Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org