By MORGAN MANNS
Monday marked a week since Fostoria Junior/Senior High School students and staff began classes in the new building.
Fostoria Board of Education utilized the new cafeteria space Monday evening during the monthly meeting, providing updates on how the transition is going as well as progress on the final stages of the building project.
Before the district closed for holiday break in December, staff and students worked quickly to get their materials and belongings into the lockers and classrooms of the new building.
Fostoria City Schools is now hosting a second public auction as a result of the building project to sell some of the items they don’t plan to keep and give community members and other members of the public the opportunity to find something they might want or need.
“We want to be sure that any local individuals and alumni are aware of this auction so, if they have some nostalgia, they have an opportunity to bid on items they might desire,” Treasurer Sue Lehmann has said.
The online auction includes items such as teacher and student desks, tables and chairs, stools, file cabinets, white boards, cork boards, TV’s, clocks and speakers, SMART boards, projectors, carts, bookshelves, desktops and monitors, washers, dryers, ovens and stovetops, refrigerators, microwaves, food warmers, crock pots, sinks, walk-in freezers, beverage coolers, convection ovens, kitchen utensils, registers, lockers, Chromebooks, educational materials and more.
Auction details, as well as to view the available items, are available at www.kigarauctions.com. The items may be viewed without registering, however, registration is required in order to bid on and ultimately purchase any of the items.
The auction site will be live either today or Wednesday and will end at 8 p.m. on Feb. 2.
Individuals will have an opportunity to see the items in person during open houses, set to take place Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. No bids will be accepted during the open houses.
Purchased items must be paid for and removed Feb. 4-5.
“A week in the new building has provided a great deal of highlights,” Superintendent Andrew Sprang said Monday. “I think the kids and staff have done a great job of adjusting into the new building. They’re still finding their way around but it’s been pretty good.”
The next step in the building project is the auction. Once the auction is completed, the district will “move promptly to the demolition process” of the former junior/senior high school. The district will keep the northern section of the building, including the former commons, cafeteria and kitchen, gymnasium and Performing Arts Center.
The cafeteria and kitchen areas are being renovated to house the district offices. The former commons area will be transformed into a history hallway, paying tribute to FCS’ longevity by displaying memorabilia and artifacts from older buildings.
Once the southern part of the old building is torn down, crews will begin installing a new parking lot south of the building to include more parking spaces.
The building project should be completed by the first part of August.
“I would like to see us do another big open house, where we open up the entire campus to people so they can see the total finished product,” Sprang said Monday. “It’s an exciting time. It definitely looks different out in town.”
In addition to the completion of the new building and the addition to the elementary building, Sprang was referring to the demolition of the former Riley, Longfellow and Holmes elementary buildings.
The board passed a resolution Monday allowing the district to add $128,040.52 in alternates to the scope of work included in the demolition project at Longfellow Elementary School.
The project came in under budget and funds have become available for the demolition of the existing parking lot at $74,604.67 using co-funded dollars as well as for the addition of a new parking lot at $53,435.85 using locally funded initiative (LFI) dollars.
Sprang said the district plans to keep the property, replacing the parking lot for stadium events. However, no decisions have been made on what else will be done with the space.
The former Riley and Longfellow properties are currently being appraised. Decisions on what will become of those properties have not yet been made.
In other business, Sprang discussed the U.S. Census, noting the census helps determine key assistance for schools, such as Title I aid, the National School Lunch Program and special education grants.
“This year, the district received $1.7 million in Title and special education funding,” Sprang explained. “These funds allow us to provide intervention services to students, whether it’s staffing or resources to be used with the students.”
The funds are also used for professional development, resource officers, tech supports, McKinney-Vento resources and more. Sprang said these federal funds help provide resources to run the food service program and support 9-9.5 percent of the overall district budget. He encouraged community members to fill out the census to ensure the district continues to receive these federal dollars.
Separately, the board passed a resolution opposing the state of Ohio edChoice Scholarship (voucher) Program.
As part of the budget bill, the state decided to expand the requirements to allow for more students to be able to participate in the program. The changes are set to take effect in the next fiscal year.
“The measures have expanded so greatly it now includes the majority of public schools,” Lehmann said. “It routes money out of our classrooms to fund private education. It’s not that we would see new money, but that we would see money leave the district to fund private education. There’s been an outcry from public schools all across Ohio looking for some type of modification because of the devastating impact it will have on public schools.”
Also during the meeting, the board approved:
• The 2019-20 Service Agreement with North Point Educational Service Center Governing Board.
• The 2020-21 College Credit Plus Program agreement with Owens Community College.
• Donations from Fostoria Ladies AMVETS #69 Auxiliary for the new PreK-6 playground project; Hatfield, Reed & VFW (c/o United Way) for the FCS Student School Supply Fund; and to the Jack and Carolyn Markoff Award Endowment Fund from Steven Markoff, Gary & Ellen Markoff, Matthew & Jamie Myers and Nicholas & Ashleigh Wirtner.
During the organizational meeting, the board:
• Selected Dr. Thomas Guernsey as the 2020 board president and Sharon Stannard as the 2020 vice president.
Guernsey appointed Heidi Kauffman as the OSBA Legislative Liaison member and as the OSBA Student Achievement Liaison member for 2020.
• Established the following committees:
Audit & Finance – Dr. Guernsey and Tom Grine
Policy Development – Pat Grine and Sharon Stannard
Negotiations/Personnel – Guernsey and Stannard (FEA); Guernsey and Heidi Kauffman (AFSCME)
Athletic Board – Grine
Redmen Club/Athletic Boosters – Grine
Music Boosters – Guernsey
Vanguard-Sentinel JVSD – Kauffman
• Approved 2020 board meeting dates as Feb. 18, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, Aug. 24, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14. Meetings take place at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of the new FJSHS building, 1001 Park Ave.
Monthly work sessions are set to take place at 6 p.m. Feb. 10, March 2, April 6, May 11, June 8, July 13, Aug. 3, Sept. 14, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 2 and Nov. 30.