WELLSBURG - The Brooke County Board of Education has hired a new facilities supervisor to oversee maintenance and improvements to school buildings, grounds and equipment.
Rob Robinson, currently Brooke High School's athletic director, was appointed to the position, officially known as director of facilities, maintenance and technology, by the board Monday.
Robinson has held the athletic director position since 2010 and has been employed for 31 years as a facilities maintenance instructor in the career technical department. In that capacity, he has teamed with building construction instructor Ralph Smith in overseeing vocational students in the construction of modular homes, an outdoor classroom used by science students and a shelter for outdoor kennels at the Brooke County Animal Shelter, among other projects.
Robinson said he hopes to continue the vocational students' involvement in various projects benefiting the school district.
He has been involved in maintaining the school's athletic fields since 1998. While attending college, he repaired equipment and maintained the grounds at Oglebay Park and, while employed by National Equipment of Wheeling, was involved in general construction for rental units and maintenance of kitchen and other equipment.
Robinson said he will be working closely with Marty Bartz, former facilities supervisor, in overseeing the completion of the high school football field and athletic track.
Crews have been working to replace the athletic track, which has fallen into disrepair, and replace install artificial turf on the football field.
Bartz served as facilities supervisor and assistant superintendent in recent years after the board decided to merge the position to save money. But Bartz said he and the board agreed the two positions should be split again in light of their respective responsibilities.
Superintendent Kathy Kidder recommended another candidate, Scott Donohew, principal of Franklin Primary School, for the position at its June 30 meeting. But board members Jim Piccirillo, Brian Ferguson and Jim Lazear voted against it, saying they had nothing against Donohew but preferred another candidate.
On Monday Kidder recommended Robinson. Piccirillo, Ferguson, Lazear and fellow board member Chad Haught voted in favor of Robinson.
Board member Frank Ujcich voted against. Following the meeting, he said he has worked with Robinson and thinks well of him but felt Donohew was the best candidate.
Donohue, who met with the board in executive session prior to the vote, declined to comment afterward.
The board is expected to post the athletic director position as well as the school district's transportation director as the current transportation director, Ron Ujcich, has retired.
Before retiring, Ujcich submitted three requests considered by the board Monday. The board granted a request to purchase two new or used vehicles for the high school's driver education program and make two of the current vehicles available for principals and teachers to travel to seminars, meetings and other business.
The board also accepted, at Ujcich's recommendation, a bid of $31,583 from Gary Manufacturing for a wireless portable lift system to be used in maintaining buses and vehicles. The bid was the only one submitted for the equipment.
The board tabled Ujcich's request for $40,000 to purchase two new or used sport utility vehicles, one for Kidder and the other for school board officials, principals and teachers to use for transportation to seminars and other business.
Ferguson said the board should determine and compare the cost for mileage paid for staff's travel expenses before approving the request.
Piccirillo said the board should look at who gets vehicles and how they are used.
In other business:
Oaths of office were administered to Piccirillo and Ferguson, who were re-elected to the board in April, by Bartz.
The board reorganized for the 2012-13 school year, reappointing Piccirillo president, Ferguson vice president, Lazear as its representative to the Regional Educational Service Agency, Ujcich to the Brooke County West Virginia University Extension Service board and Ferguson as liaison to the board's athletic complex committee.
Haught was appointed to a committee being revived by the state and comprised of representatives of each county school board.
The board approved hiring Megan Moroz and Molly Cribbs as English teachers at Follansbee Middle School; Kate Marie Johnson as a special education instructor specializing in autism at Jefferson Primary School; Mandy Jo Prunty as an aide and autism mentor and Susan Haney as a nurse, both for the extended year summer school program for special education students; Gina Angelo and Alan Cox as substitute teachers; Amy Spurrier as substitute nurse; and James Feist as substitute truck driver.
The board also accepted the resignation of Frank Lucero as teacher and head of the career technical education department.