COVINGTON — The Covington Board of Education approved the $25,000 contract to T&D Interiors for the Covington High School (CHS) carpet project. The CHS building will be receiving new carpeting in the dining commons as well as in selected hallways, including outside of the main office.
“Because of time restriction, this will take place Christmas break,” Steve Miller, project manager, said. “We have six work days and eight work days if we count Saturdays … but they think they can get it done in six days. It has to be completed before the kids come back from Christmas break.”
Randy Sprunger, architect designer for Fanning Howey, was also present at the meeting and discussed the sign to go in front of the PK-8 building as well as the design work for connecting CHS and the PK-8 building.
“Two things I want to talk to you about tonight,” Sprunger said. “One is how to possibly use part of the entry near the middle school on the grounds of the school and the other is the connecting corridor.”
Sprunger presented two designs for a new sign that will incorporate the entryway. According to Sprunger, the larger sign design will cost approximately $45,000 extra, being 24 feet long and nine feet tall. The smaller one will cost approximately $40,000 extra, being 16 feet long and 9 feet high.
Sprunger also stated that they could go with a sign option that does not incorporate parts of the stone entryway near the middle school that will not cost extra. The current sign design that does not incorporate parts of that stone entryway is approximately 12 feet long and 11 feet high.
Board members Brad Hall and Mark Miller asked if they would be able to incorporate LED onto those signs. It was estimated that adding LED would cost an extra $15,000.
“Aesthetically, this is very old … I don’t know how well the LED will look,” board member Alex Reck said.
“Keep in mind, too, that the LED … is provided by the owner and is not part of the project,” Steve Miller said. The LED could also not be paid for by the project’s contingency. Steve Miller added later that “there really isn’t any credit there.”
“I don’t know if I could justify spending $40,000,” Reck said.
Mark Miller questioned if there was another more economical way to incorporate that entryway into the new school in order to preserve it for the community.
Sprunger stated that he did not know if they had the volume to do that inside the school somewhere.
“One thing we did at Newton is they had some colonnades on the outside of their old building that had these stone caps on top,” Sprunger said. “And they were pretty ornate, and it was amazing. We took them down … and they were huge and we used them to support the checkout counter in the library.
“Now, I don’t think we could that with this. It’s just not shaped right, it’s pointed,” Sprunger went on. “But that’s the only thing I can think of is taking part of that base and putting it in a space that’s got some volume like a library.”
The board requested that Sprunger explore more economical ideas of incorporating that entryway into the new school.
Sprunger also discussed connecting CHS and the new school with a corridor, but they will not be able to do so as part of their current project. The estimated cost mentioned during the meeting was $270,000.
“I’ve been working with the OFCC (Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) a lot the last several weeks communicating with them,” Steve Miller said. He said that the OFCC stated that there was no way that Covington would be allowed to start this project until the PK-8 building was completed. If they did it now, Steve Miller explained that the OFCC will reclassify their project as “new plus renovation,” combine the square-footage of the projects, and possibly decrease their funding for the project.
“We are going to do this, sooner or later it will happen, but it looks like to me it will not be by the end (of the year),” Steve Miller said. Steve Miller explained that at the beginning of the next school year, they will have to decide as a group when they complete the corridor. The spring and summer following the 2016-17 school year was mentioned.
The board also approved authorizing the Southwestern Ohio Purchasing Council to advertise and receive bids for the purchase of a new school bus for Covington schools. The board then approve proceeding with an alternative method of preparing and submitting the budget, which was deemed a formality.
Later on the evening, the board approved allowing CHS students to participate in the 2016 indoor track and field season. The board also approved donating land to the village of Covington for the Safe Routes to School program.
Senior Zach Hasting of CHS was also honored during the board’s student spotlight in their meeting for his achievement of being a national FFA finalist for the National FFA Proficiency Award in Agricultural Repair and Maintenance-Entrepreneurship. CHS Principal Josh Long also commended Hasting for “just being an outstanding representative of our school and our community … and really a poster child for our FFA program.”
Gooding also gave commendations for the following students for various academic and athletic achievements: Zach Hasting, Austin Brown, Kristopher Gibboney, Taylor Hill, Julianna Yingst, Spencer Hogue, Mason Dilley, Addison Metz, Kelsey McReynolds, Andrew Slusher, Levi Winn, James Grilliot, Carly Shell, Anna Dunn, Paige Boehringer, Ashlyn Plessinger, Kelsey Dysinger, Connor Ryan, Rachel York, Brooke Gostomsky, Arianna Richards, Ashley Cecil, the varsity football team, Zach Barnes, Ben Kuether, Brandon Magee, Coleman Ryan, Jared Williams, Logan Fields, Deron White, Nathan Blei, Lance Miller, and the CMS football team.
Superintendent Gene Gooding also commended Long for earning the CCC Cross Country Coach of the Year and the CES Walk-A-Thon for raising $6,800 for the PTO.
Gooding also mentioned that there will be a special board meeting held on Dec. 14 to discuss what they will do with the land where the current middle school is at after the new PK-8 building is finished and in use.
The board also approved the following items during their meeting:
• Changing the stipend for Josh Bruns, intramural girls’ basketball coach, to $881
• Accepting various donations
• The certified substitutes pending successful background checks
• The change in status for Sara Schmitmeyer, certified employee, from full-time to part-time
• The FMLA maternity leave for certified employee Jennifer Miller, effective April 11 through May 27
• The certified supplemental resignation of Jessica Moore, pep band direction
• The certified volunteer coaches for the wrestling program
• The Washington D.C. chaperones
• Granting a one-year limited classified contract to Mike Shafer, CHS evening custodian, eight hours per day
• The long-term substitute evening custodians, four hours per day
• The NEOLA Revised Policies and NEOLA Revised Administrative Guidelines
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall