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Woodridge Middle School getting new pavilion

9/26/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Becky Tompkins

Students and staff at Woodridge Middle School will soon be able to enjoy an occasional class and after-school activities outdoors at a new pavilion to be built on the school grounds at 4451 Quick Road.

The Woodridge Local Schools Board of Education gave the approval Sept. 17 for the school’s Parent Service Organization (PSO), which is providing the funds, to proceed with the project. PSO Treasurer Julie Cooper said they hope to have the pavilion finished for use this fall.

Middle School Principal Jesse Hosford said the pavilion will be built at the southeast corner of the school next to the basketball court. He said it will be incorporated into the existing outdoor classroom there.

Also at the board meeting, the Woodridge Foundation presented the school board with a check for $4,900, money from a science grant the group received from Dominion. It will be used to support instruction at the high school in alternative forms of energy such as solar, wind and fuel cells, said Foundation Treasurer Joe Charles.

He presented a second check, for $19,575, representing money raised by the foundation from the community to support ongoing district projects and programs. Charles said this funding would go toward middle school and high school science equipment and supplies.

Superintendent Walter Davis noted that in addition to raising the money to build the field house at the high school, the foundation also provided the funds to build the lab at the high school that is now the new biomedical engineering lab. The group also gives scholarships to Woodridge students, Davis said.

At a special meeting Aug. 30, the school board approved a three-year contract with OAPSE (Ohio Association of Public School Employees) Local 544 employees. The organization of bus drivers, maintenance, food service, clerical and other support staff had ratified the agreement earlier, Davis said.

Similar to the teachers’ contract approved in August, this one calls for 1 percent raises for each of the next three years, in addition to cash incentives of 1.25 percent the first year and 1 percent each of the next two years. The support staff’s contributions to the cost of their health care also will increase.

Davis said the school officials and board were “very pleased to have reached an agreement prior to the start of the school year,” thanks to the cooperation of the board, administration and personnel organizations.

At the Sept. 17 meeting, administrators’ salaries were brought in line with the unions’ recently negotiated contracts. Employees not in a bargaining unit, such as those in the treasurer’s office, will receive the same raises as OAPSE members.

Principals, central-office administrators and the superintendent will have the same salary and benefit adjustments that were approved for teachers in the Woodridge Education Association (WEA) contract.

Davis pointed out that the administrators had not had a raise in the past few years, and board member George DeBord noted that the superintendent hadn’t either.

The district is starting a Woodridge community foodbank, Davis announced, “to help some of our families that might be in need.” It will be housed at the middle school, he said. The WEA will be collecting donations of nonperishable food items at the next two home football games.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. in the library at Woodridge High School, 4440 Quick Road.

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