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Woodridge bids farewell to board member

7/17/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

District officials also say goodbye to Intermediate School principal

PENINSULA — The Woodridge Local School District is seeking a new principal and a new school board member.

The resignations of Gretchen Lawn and board member George DeBord were both accepted at a special Board of Education meeting July 8.

Lawn has been the principal of Woodridge Intermediate School for four years. She is leaving to accept a principal position in Midview Local Schools in Lorain County, a place much closer to her home, said Woodridge Superintendent Walter Davis.

“She is a wonderful member of our administrative team. I’m sorry to see her go,” said Davis.

The district is accepting applications for her position, he said.

DeBord replaced board member Jim Vechery in February 2011 after Vechery resigned. He was then elected to the board in November 2011. DeBord cited family and work commitments that demand much of his time as his reasons for resigning. He was vice president of the school board. The other board members elected Tammy Heffernan to take over that position.

The board is accepting applications for a new school board member to fill out DeBord’s term. Anyone interested in being considered for the position may obtain an application from the board office, 4411 Quick Road, or from the district website, www.woodridge.k12.oh.us.

The deadline to apply is tomorrow, July 18, by noon. For more information, call 330-928-9074.

The consultants who helped the board arrive at its master facilities plan were on hand at the meeting to discuss the next steps in building planning. Chas Schreckenberger, of Braun & Steidl Architects, and Chuck Warner, of Warner Concepts LLC, presented plans of the district’s property and where a new elementary school might fit in. That was the first priority of the staff and community members who attended forums and filled out questionnaires about the needs of the district.

The maximum amount the district may borrow for facilities through a bond issue is $33 million, said Treasurer Deanna Levenger, so that will determine how much school improvement will be possible.

The consultants estimated that a new prekindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school would cost in the neighborhood of $22 million.

If a bond issue passes, that would leave approximately $11 million, they estimated, for the next-highest-voted priority items, a new roof and gutters for the middle school and renovating and adding on to the high school.

The good news is the district owns enough land so it will not need to buy land to build a new elementary building to replace the aged primary and intermediate schools, Davis said. The overwhelming majority of respondents favored placing the new school on the same campus with the middle and high schools.

Schreckenberger showed drawings of possibilities for placing a new school. A one-story building could fit between the middle school and the administration building on Quick Road. A two-story building, on a smaller footprint, could be built behind the middle school, with access to State Road.

The district owns the wooded area between Quick and State roads, closer to where the two intersect, and the school could be built there, too, Schreckenberger said.

Board members also viewed possibilities for renovations to the high school. Foremost on the priority list is enlarging the gymnasium, said Davis. The current one is large enough for physical education classes but not large enough for spectators at big games or for assemblies, he said.

Depending upon how much funding is left, the gym and other rooms could also be moved to more advantageous places in the current building, the consultants said.

Davis suggested he and board members tour some new elementary schools that have been built for 21st-century educational needs to help them decide what they want in theirs.

In other business, Davis reported that all of the Woodridge third-graders had passed the required reading test to be promoted to fourth grade under the state-mandated third-grade reading guarantee.

The board plans to hold special meetings July 23 and 24 at 6 p.m. to interview candidates for the board seat. A special meeting also has been scheduled for July 30 at 6 p.m. The meetings will take place in the Administration Building, 4411 Quick Road.

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