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Education

Proposal may keep Portage Lakes Fitness Center open

3/20/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

During the March 18 meeting, the Coventry Local Schools Board of Education recognized members of the girls bowling team for their second-place finish in the Division I State Bowling Tournament and wrestler Zach Lake, who qualified for the Division II State Wrestling Tournament. Shown from left are: (front row) bowlers senior Karlee Evans, freshman Kailee Evans and sophomore Haley Boatwright; and Lake; and (back row) girls bowling coach Aaron Rose.
Photo: Pam Lifke
A “very promising proposal” may help keep open the Portage Lakes Fitness Center located adjacent to Coventry High School.

Coventry Local Schools Board of Education President Robert Wohlgamuth at the board’s March 18 meeting told a packed meeting room of residents he couldn’t give any details yet, but he had received a verbal proposal that would keep the fitness center operating.

“It’s something we feel will benefit everyone involved — the school district, taxpayers, the property owners, the fitness center members and so forth,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

In the past month, Wohlgamuth said Superintendent Russell Chaboudy and Treasurer Aaron Butts have spent “countless” hours on issues concerning the fitness center. Board members also have been working to resolve issues.

Wohlgamuth said legal issues will take some time to work out, but he expects to be able to announce the proposal in a few weeks.

The Portage Lakes Fitness Center, a 15,000-square-foot facility owned by Coventry Local Schools and managed by the Akron Area YMCA, is open to adults and students. A review of the center’s finances showed operation of the facility was costing the district $3,000 per month, Wohlgamuth said at a February meeting.

Superintendent Russell Chaboudy said last month when he first started with the district seven years ago, the center was making a profit of $30,000 to $60,000 annually.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a resolution allowing the district to apply for the Safe Routes to School program, which encourages students to walk or bike to school. The program also provides grant funds to build sidewalks and educate students about traveling safely to school. Board Member Christopher Davis said it will take a year for the district to form a school travel plan, the first step in qualifying for grants.

The board also recognized members of the girls bowling team for their second-place finish in the Division I State Bowling Tournament, as well as wrestler Zach Lake, who qualified for the Division II State Wrestling Tournament.

In other business, the board:

  • approved a salary status change for Colleen Vincent from bachelor’s plus 18 to bachelor’s plus 30;
  • approved hiring long-term substitutes Kaley Schnittke and Deanna Stahl. Both are expected to be at Turkeyfoot Elementary School from the end of March through June 2;
  • recalled Mindy Nist, a classroom assistant at Turkeyfoot Elementary;
  • hired Josh Rohler as a wrestling coach;
  • approved a two-year contract for Maintenance Coordinator Denzil Carothers; and
  • approved requisitions of $2,932 and $1,275 to S.A. Comunale for work at Coventry High School and $14,700 to Rea & Associations for audit services.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for April 15 at 6 p.m. in the district administrative offices at the former Lakeview Elementary building, 2910 S. Main St.

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