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Indian Creek school board discusses issues on closure

MINGO JUNCTION — Indian Creek school board members met March 19 to highlight efforts to assist children during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leaders praised teachers and staff members for their ongoing work to sustain students mentally and physically amid school closures as they heard from Indian Creek Education Association President Karen Lloyd during the regular session at Indian Creek Middle School. Superintendent T.C. Chappelear also applauded the staff and said everyone was pulling together.

“The teachers are using Google Classroom, Facebook and Instagram, all types of tools,” Chappelear said.

He noted that the district also has been providing free breakfast and lunches at Indian Creek High School, the middle school and Ridgewood Place Apartments on Two Ridge Road in Wintersville.

“It’s continuing to increase a little and should do so as more people hear about it,” Chappelear said.

The board also approved general maximum prices on school construction and renovation projects. Chappelear said it put the district closer to beginning the projects for the new Indian Creek High School and Cross Creek Elementary and upgrades at Hills Elementary.

“That’s one of the next steps in continuing to move forward,” the superintendent said. “One of the great things is the construction manager at-risk is responsible to deliver projects within the maximum price, but there is an exception for unforeseeable conditions. It really puts the onus for the construction manager to deliver the project at the price promised within the budget.”

For now, officials are collecting bids, and construction manager at-risk Hammond Construction will make the final selections before construction begins.

Groundbreaking is still eyed for April. The new high school will be built next to Kettlewell Memorial Stadium while the present ICHS and Wintersville Elementary are still in use. Cross Creek Elementary will be erected at the present district office location on Bantam Ridge Road and Hills will be refurbished with new windows, roofing and classrooms as well as plumbing, heating and cooling improvements.

The two new schools will be constructed simultaneously, with renovations at Hills running concurrently. Sol Harris/Day Architecture Inc. of North Canton is completing designs for the three buildings and the estimated $63 million project is being done in collaboration with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

The sites should be ready for fall of 2021 with the older school buildings to be raised the following spring.

In other action, the board:

– Approved the resignations of Wintersville Elementary teacher Vangelle Stakias after more than 24 years of service for retirement purposes effective June 1, as well as paraprofessional Brenda Spencer for personal reasons.

– Approved a classified substitute list including John Alvis, bus driver and custodian; David Laughery, summer custodian at Hills; Brandy Riley, cafeteria; Karen Rish, bus driver; and Andrew Bowersock, bus driver and custodian.

– Approved a continuing contract for Kevin Gray and employed Cathy Darling as a cook-cashier, Erin Mort as a bus driver and Kenneth Fiest as a paraprofessional for severe needs at the elementary school.

– Approved Sean Smith as a baseball volunteer for the 2019-20 school year.

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