Highland district hiring firm to design new stadium
Also, board honors Pride Award recipients
|Jeff Miller Jr.|
|Photos courtesy of Highland Local Schools|
After meeting with several professional design firms during a special meeting May 31, the board has decided now to authorize the superintendent and treasurer to enter into contract negotiations with the firm ranked most qualified.
The board also narrowed down its list of possible firms to three at the regular meeting June 18. Those three included Mann Architects, Stantec and Fanning Howey, ranked as possibilities in that order, said Treasurer Neil Barnes.
The district has worked with Fanning Howey previously on the high school, noted board member Dan Petek.
Barnes pointed out no money has been raised at this point to build. A newly formed Highland Athletic Foundation has as its first order of business the task of raising funds for the project, said Superintendent Catherine Aukerman.
The design firm the district ends up hiring will put together plans to take to the community to solicit funds, said Petek.
The plan is for the bulk of the stadium project to be paid for through private donations, added Aukerman.
Also at the meeting, Aukerman presented this year’s Highland Pride Awards recipients with plaques commemorating their accomplishments, as well as letters of commendation received from Speaker of the Ohio House William Batchelder (R-District 69). A reception followed the board meeting.
The honorees, chosen by a committee of Highland teachers, administrators, support staff members and parents, include one district employee and one volunteer annually.
Newly retired Granger Elementary School Principal Linda Collins was the staff member chosen for the honor. She served as principal at Granger for eight years and has a total of 37 years of education experience, district officials said.
She said in her years in the district, students have taught her as much, if not more, than she has taught them.
“I will continue to love Highland. I will continue to be here,” said Collins, noting she has already agreed to serve with the Highland Foundation.
Highland officials said Jeff Miller Jr., the community volunteer chosen for the award, has been an active and productive member of the Highland Athletic Boosters Club for 12 years. He has served as second vice president for the organization and also coordinated the concessions program. Miller is a 1996 Highland High School graduate, according to district officials.
“I have enjoyed being around sports my whole life,” said Miller.
He added he started volunteering at Highland sporting events when a friend asked him to help make popcorn at a football game in 2000.
Board member Robert Kelly said Collins and Miller are “fine examples of what Highland is all about.”
“One person does make a difference in a child’s life,” he added.
As part of the honor, the award winners receive lifetime passes to Highland activities and sporting events, according to district officials.
In other business, the board:
• agreed to reject all proposals received for copier services. Treasurer Neil Barnes said five companies submitted bids. Lake Business Products stood out as the definite low bidder, he said. In related action, the board authorized Barnes to enter into a lease and service agreement with Lake Business Products for copier equipment and related services. The reason the board needed to reject the bids was because the program agreed upon varied from the specifications submitted in the bid packet, Barnes added.
“It’s an even better program especially designed for schools” that will save the district some additional funds, he said. The contract will be for a three-year term with an option to extend for an additional two years, he said;
• accepted Thao Nguyen from Vietnam as a foreign exchange student and waived all associated education fees for the 2012-13 school year;
• accepted donations, including $500 to the High School Robotics Club and $1,000 from an anonymous donor for a high school scholarship; and
• welcomed new staff, including Josh Arbour; high school intervention specialist; April Burchett, middle school English teacher; Kara Dominak, Sharon Elementary full-time kindergarten teacher; Karen Gillihan, Sharon Elementary art teacher; Christina Jaber, middle school eighth-grade science teacher; Weston Muniak, high school math teacher; Audrey Salsbury, high school social studies teacher; and Meghan Tonsetic, middle school intervention specialist.
The next regular Highland school board meeting is scheduled for July 16 at 7 p.m. in the Highland High School Media Center, 4150 Ridge Road.
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