Summer projects slated at schools

By Belinda M. Paschal -

PIQUA – Considerable upgrades and renovations are in the works for Piqua High and Junior High schools, as the Piqua City Schools Board of Education on Thursday approved a resolution authorizing the solicitation of bids for two projects at the schools.

Project Manager Curt South gave an overview of the first project, which involves work to be done at the buildings over the upcoming summer. At the junior high, that work includes replacing the temperature control system, replacing windows in the academic stair tower, painting exterior doors, and renovating the entrance/reception area, among other refurbishments. The total estimated cost is $495,057.

Work needed at the high school includes replacing the fire alarm system, replacing the public-address system, and providing a security vestibule at the main office entrance, as well as other labor. The estimated cost for this work is $587,625, bringing the combined total for both schools to $1,082,682.

Next, South detailed plans for a furniture replacement project at both schools. Items to be replaced would include classroom chairs, desks, science tables and chairs, art tables and stools, handicapped-accessible desks, and more. The total estimated cost for the furniture project is $334,651. South projected that the furniture installation would begin in June and be complete by Aug. 17.

The bid period for both projects is March 31 through April 25, after which a meeting will be held on April 26 to award contracts.

Among other discussions that took place during Thursday’s meeting was the consideration of switching to a new grading scale at the high school. English teacher Nick Neary said the current letter grade system and the four-point scale that corresponds with it does not factor in percentages and carries such drawbacks as encouraging students to “coast” rather than realize their full potential. Neary also said the letter grade system is an inaccurate reflection of students’ progress and performance.

The board also accepted the resignation of Ross Loudenback from his post as assistant principal at Piqua Central Intermediate School. But they won’t have to look far to find him, as Loudenback is the new assistant principal at Springcreek Primary. The board approved a two-year administrative contract for Loudenback for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

Kindergarten registration and screening will begin this weekend at Washington Primary School. The first session is set for 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Other upcoming registration and screening sessions will be held:

• Washington: Tuesday, April 25, from 4:15-6:15 p.m. Call 773-8472 for appointment.

• Springcreek: Saturday, April 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and Thursday, April 27, from 4:15-6:15 p.m. Call 773-6540 for appointment.

To register your child, you will need: the child’s certified birth certificate; parent or legal guardian’s photo ID; proof of residency; immunization records; custody papers (if applicable); and a physical exam by first day of school.

Superintendent Dwayne Thompson encouraged everyone to participate in the upcoming “Otath-He-Waugh-the Couch,” (“He has risen from the couch”) Educator Appreciation 5k Walk/Run on Thursday, May 4, at Piqua High School.

The purpose of this 5K walk/run is to show appreciation for an educator including bus drivers, cooks, custodians, aides, secretaries, teachers, nurses, counselors, coaches, administrators. It also serves to encourage the community youth to be physically active.

Forms can be picked up at the Piqua BOE office at 719 E. Ash St., or register online at Same-day registration will be from 4:45-5:45 p.m. The race begins at 6 p.m. Start/finish will be at Alexander Stadium.

Pre-registration is $15 for adults, $5 for students. Register by April 23 to receive a t-shirt. Registrations after April 23 are not guaranteed a T-shirt. Race day registration is $20 for adults, $5 for students (no T-shirt guaranteed).

Completed registration forms and fees can be dropped off at any Piqua School Office (Springcreek, Washington, PCIS, PJHS, PHS) or mailed to: Piqua High School c/o Cross Country Team, 1 Indian Trail, Piqua, OH 45356

The Board of Education’s next meeting will be at 6 p.m. April 26, at Piqua Junior High School. Monday’s meeting, as well as previous ones, can be viewed online at

By Belinda M. Paschal

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341

Reach Belinda M. Paschal at (937) 451-3341