The Pettisville School Board held lengthy discussions about funding for the proposed new school facility at its regular Monday night, July 14, board meeting.
Board members reviewed various ways that they could raise the money needed for the local share of a new school building.
The State of Ohio, through the Ohio School Facilities Commission, has offered to provide Pettisville with $17.6 million to build a $21.4 million new school building. District residents will have to provide local matching funds.
Options were considered, including a straight property tax levy and a combination property tax and income tax levy.
No decision was made at the meeting, although the board took the next step in the process by requesting permission from the state to issue bonds for the school district.
Steve Switzer, district superintendent, said this step is necessary when the bonds issued will exceed 4% of the valuation of the district.
While no exact figure is available at the present time, bonds needed to raise the nearly $5 million dollars the district will need for their portion of the new K-12 school building will exceed the 4% figure.
The board plans to put the issue before the voters on the November ballot.
An additional board meeting will be held Monday, July 21, 8 p.m., in the school library so that board members can continue to work on matters related to the new school project.
The meeting will include a business session and a work session.
Board members also learned that the Fulton County Wind Project Consortium, which includes Pettisville Schools, Archbold Schools, and Northwest State Community College, received a grant of $250,000 to support the wind turbine project that the group is pursuing.
Switzer told board members that the total cost for a wind turbine the size that the school district would need is estimated at $900,000. If grant money can be secured, the cost could be lowered, and the wind turbine could eventually pay for itself with energy savings.
The district is currently conducting a feasibility study to determine wind at the school property. According to Switzer, the study results should be available within two months.
The School Board also discussed the small size of Pettisville’s incoming kindergarten class.
Currently there are 25 students registered for the halfday kindergarten program.
Jason Waldvogel, elementary principal, said that although the numbers are lower than usual, he sees advantages in maintaining two sections.
"In the early grades, kindergarten and first grade, students can really benefit from small classes that allow more personal instruction," Waldvogel said.
Waldvogel said the district often picks up a few more students as the start of the school year approaches.
In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation for purposes of retirement from Charles Nafziger, high school math teacher. Nafziger has indicated he is interested in the "retire and return" option offered by state law.
The board set a public hearing on the issue of his being reemployed for Monday, Aug. 11, 7 p.m., in the school library.
There are currently three open positions in the district. Pettisville is looking for two teaching positions. One is for a class size reduction teacher; the other is for an intervention specialist. There is also an opening for a cafeteria cook.
Kelly McDermott was offered a one-year contract as a regular bus driver on an as-needed basis for the coming school year. Angie Nofziger was approved as a cheerleader coach, and Brianna Nofziger as a volunteer assistant in the cheerleader program.
There are three supplemental positions open in the basketball program. In the boys program, the district needs seventh- and ninth-grade coaches. In the girls program, the opening is for an eighth grade coach.
Lunch Price Up
Lunch prices were raised 10¢, and milk will cost 5¢ more.
Elementary lunches will cost $1.95 and high school lunches, $2.10. A half pint of milk will cost 45¢, regardless of grade.
The board reviewed preliminary results that show the district should receive the excellent rating on the Ohio Department of Education’s school report card again this year.
Although the data is not final, Switzer said the preliminary results show Pettisville meeting or greatly exceeding every criteria except the eighth grade social studies requirement.
Switzer’s figures show Pettisville with a 100% graduation rate for the past year, and a 96.8% attendance rate.
Board member Dan Bruner was not at the meeting. All votes were unanimous. The next board meeting will be the special session set for Monday, July 21.- D.J. Neuenschwander