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District, community get view of new school

June 1, 2012
By JESS LOOMAN - Staff correspondent , The Herald-Star

MINGO JUNCTION A group of Indian Creek Local School District board members, principals and teaching staff as well as community members were able to get an inside view of the district's new middle school project on May 24.

Brian Kessler, project site manager for R.L. Bowen and Associates, served as guide on a tour through the 85,000-square-foot building, which includes three wings, a cafetorium, two technology labs and a large library.

Kessler said a lot of progress has been made over the past several months.

"Right now, area A, which is the eighth-grade wing, is ready for drywall finishing and paint," he explained. "The administration wing and the library is progressing with mechanical, electric and plumbing and is nearly done. The drywall for that wing will be done in a couple of weeks. Area C, or the seventh-grade wing, will have drywall started on Tuesday. Area D, or the sixth-grade wing, is in the final stages of mechanical, electric and plumbing. And the slab will be poured Friday for the gymnasium.

"The exterior concrete will commence next week and the paving will follow," he said.

A levy was approved in November 2008 allowing the building of the $17 million middle school located behind Hills Elementary School.

The levy amount was 2.2 mills for the construction plus an additional 1.25 mills for maintenance and permanent improvements for a total of 3.45 mills. Some of the project is funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission.

Following the tour, the school board held its monthly meeting with Jim Freiling, a Mingo Junction resident, and Jamie Kovalski, Hills Elementary School principal, addressing board members.

Freiling was on hand to ask the board about the possibility of naming the recreational field at the junior high school after Mingo High School graduate Joe Fortunato.

"Joe is one of the most celebrated athletes in Jefferson County," he stated. "Whatever it takes, I think we need to get this done. He adds great luster to the school district and I think that his name should be placed somewhere. The district should be proud and capitalize on his name."

Kovalski gave an update on Hills Elementary throughout the course of the year.

"Enrollment reached 500 this year which is an all-time high," she said. "Throughout the entire year, 78 students in fifth and sixth grades volunteered their time in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. We also participated in the Relay for Life and raised over $3,500, making us the second highest elementary school in Jefferson County."

Other accomplishments during the year included collecting $750 for the United Way; donating supplies and money to local animal shelters; participating in Mingo Light-Up night; making and donating blankets to various children's homes in Jefferson County; collecting more than 1,000 canned goods to donate to Mingo Social Services at Thanksgiving; and the fourth-grade class Kids Inc. project raising more than $2,500 to donate to a scholarship for a high-school graduate as well as donating to ICHS sophomore Justin Cummings, who was injured in a car accident in February.

In other matters, the board:

Approved membership in the OHSAA for the 2012-13 school year for grades seventh through 12th.

Approved entering into an agreement with Bethany College and Franciscan University of Steubenville to accommodate early-experience teachers and student teachers during the 2012-13 school year.

Approved allowing teaching students from Eastern Gateway Community College to observe classes in Indian Creek schools during the 2012-13 school year.

Entered into a contract with Jefferson County Educational Services Center to provide personal assistant services to a designated students through the assignment of Andrew Mathieu to Indian Creek.

Approved provisions for calamity days with the Indian Creek Education Association regarding a plan to require students to access and complete classroom lessons posted on the district's website in order to make up days in the school year on which it is necessary to close schools.

Approved the changing of the June 2012 monthly meeting to 6 p.m. June 14 at Bantam Ridge Elementary School.

Approved the following individuals for coaching positions: Andrew Connor, Rich Bell, Brad Leas, Dave Karas, Mike Voltz, Todd Mazzaferro, Mike Furda, Ray Case, Eugene Evans, Keith Duncan, John Serafini, Gary Bracone, Steven Flesher, Rich Morelli, Matt Morrow, Richie Crowe, Randy Cottis, Mike Kuester, Doug Knight, Clay Edgerly, Ed Fithen, Ty Harris, Brittany Vella, Lori Orban, Alan Stevens, Mary Ann Edgerly, Trent Starkey, Mentha Moore, Jack Fluharty, Brittany Sperlazza and Blake Wilson.

Approved employment of the following certificated/licensed individuals: Joseph Dunlevy, Erin DeSantis, Brant Starkey, John Nese, Brandon Pendleton, Mike Cottis, Sean Grinch, Angela Penner, Crystal Hammack, Jonathan Hoover, George Lucas, Joe Hammack, Abraham Prades, Bernadine Edgerly, Donald Llewellyn, Kent Howell, Kimberly Howell, Carolyn Cole, Dan Bruno, Sarah Houser, Julie Robinson, Jennifer Belt, Megan Evans, Linda Kolbus, Lori Mayher, David Moffat, Joyce Cammilletti, James Sesito, Dawn Carson, Sue Stewart, Donna Ardito, Lynn Mikesell, Nicole McDonald, Amy Rusnak, Melissa Brown, Darlene Armstrong, Beverly Brenda, Sharin Schrock, Bruce Barrett, Peggy Pyle, Ken Herron and Patricia Dalesio.

Entered into an agreement with Marlene Lamantia to provide occupational therapy services; Arrin Midei, speech and language therapy services; and Debra Copeland, physical therapy services to designated students.

Approved the resignation of special education teacher Amber Scott effective at the end of this school year.

Approved the employment of Mary Jo Petrella, Hills Elementary Building technology coordinator; Terry Starkey, ICHS English department chair four days extended service; and Lori Roberts, Wayne Elementary literacy assistant.

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