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Springfield board agrees to hang class photos in new school

6/20/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

After considerable debate, the Springfield Local Schools Board of Education voted June 18 to keep 80 years of graduating class pictures hanging on the walls when the new $42 million school building under construction opens.

The matter had come under review when district officials reported three months ago that instead of moving the old class pictures, some of which were in need of repair, to the new school, they would be scanned and made available for viewing on a computer that would be accessible to the public in a new community room in the building.

Numerous residents from both Springfield and Lakemore have attended board meetings and urged officials to reconsider that decision.

“The board has had a change of heart and responded to what passionate people had to say,” said Superintendent William Stauffer. “The [old] pictures will go up on the walls of the new high school.”

Stauffer announced that a committee, to be chaired by board member Dave Hofer, was being set up to work on three areas: 1. The pictures will be reframed and standardized in size to make sure they look good hanging in the new building; 2. A location will be decided on for the pictures; and 3. Fundraising to pay for the effort will begin soon.

“We can do a great job and make [the pictures] look great, and satisfy what everyone wants,” said Stauffer. “We appreciate the passion and input and the Spartan pride brought to this issue.”

Hofer said the project to refurbish the pictures will take time and hard work.

“We will do it in a professional manner,” he added.

Laura Cochran, a Springfield High School graduate and Lakemore Village Council member, thanked the board for agreeing to rehang the pictures at the new school. She told district officials she had letters from Council and the Springfield Board of Trustees supporting this move.

Resident and Springfield High School graduate Elva Pounders reported she recently talked to Ohio Department of Insurance Director and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who is a Springfield High School graduate and resident of Green, about the issue, and she said Taylor supported rehanging the pictures.

In other business regarding the new school, Stauffer reported efforts to correct movement of the second floor that is noticeable when walking over it is continuing.

Resident Jerry Williams sounded off on what he called the “shabby, faulty, defective concrete work.”

“Cement blocks in every room are out of alignment, there are cracks in every room and there are 2-inch gaps along walls,” said Williams. “Taxpayers should not be stuck with this. This will cause maintenance problems down the road.”

He said he believes the responsibility for this matter belongs to the project manager, the contractor and the Summit County building inspector.

Stauffer responded that district officials relied on professionals’ advice to guide them through the construction project.

“We are headed to litigation on the matter and unable to comment further,” said Board President Neal Hess.

Also at the meeting, the board recognized seven retirees, including Curriculum and Instruction Director Ann Phillips; Roosevelt Principal Lucy Brown; and teachers William Arbaugh, Dawn Henry, Lynn Klein, Laura Lach and Dodi Zbuka. Together, they had more than 150 years of experience in the district, according to Stauffer.

“This is bittersweet,” said Stauffer. “We are losing so much experience and so many great people.”

In other personnel business, the board approved numerous items, including: a 2 percent pay increase each year for the next five years for Treasurer Christopher Adams; the reassignment of David Jurmanovich as assistant principal at Schrop Intermediate; the employment of teachers Annie Knight and Michael Leonhardt, and Kristin Sarver as a guidance counselor; and various end-of-year and summer and supplemental contracts.

Seven annual service contracts also were approved, and the board had a first reading on a new staff evaluation policy, to be adopted according to a state mandate.

The board will next meet July 1 at 6 p.m. for a special meeting and July 16 for its regular meeting, both at Spring Hill Junior High School, 660 Lessig Ave.

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