COVINGTON — The new Covington K-8 school building project was officially closed out on Wednesday evening when the Covington Board of Education approved the Certificate of Project Completion.
Officially closing the project will allow funds previously being held for the project to be released to Covington schools and the state, and Covington schools is expected to receive approximately $311,000 back in their capital improvement fund.
Treasurer Carol Forsythe and Superintendent Gene Gooding said that the district was able to keep the new building project approximately $450,000 under budget, of which the state will also receive a portion of funds back due to the district also receiving funds from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission for this project.
Board President Dr. Dean Pond commended Forsythe and Gooding, as well as former project manager Steve Miller, for working to keep the construction of the new building under budget.
The new K-8 school building project was co-funded by the the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). Its total cost — including its multiple phases, such as engineering and construction — was approximately $19 million. The Covington school district approved a 3.89-mill levy and a 0.25 percent income tax in May 2013 to fund the $9 million portion of the project for which the district was responsible. That portion included $8 million for the newly constructed PK-8 school and $1 million for the renovations at the high school. A dedication for the building was held in September 2016.
Also during their meeting, the board approved a contract for the Covington High School parking lot project, awarding it to Outdoor Enterprise, LLC. The cost of the contract includes $205,920 for the high school parking lot, as well as an additional amount of $26,469 for repaving the back area of the school lot. The bid came in under what was expected for the project, with Gooding calling the contract a “deal.” The project is expected to pave the gravel parking lot and add on to the east side of the parking lot.
The board also approved their school resource officer agreement with the village of Covington, sharing the cost of $40,480 for the next school year and $46,970 for the following school year. Gooding called this agreement “critical.”
“I can’t picture what it would be like without Tim (Cline),” Gooding said about their school resource officer.
The board later approved the purchase of a new, 78-passenger school bus from Cardinal Bus Sales for $86,872. That cost also includes a credit of $2,000 toward the purchase that the district received for trading in an older bus.
During the student spotlight portion of the meeting, the board honored two high school seniors, Shae Robinson and Bryan Miller. “We’ve got two pretty special seniors,” high school Principal Jon Geuy said.
Geuy commended Robinson for her positive, follow-through attitude, as well as her welding and basketball skills. “Here’s someone who has overcome adversity,” Geuy said, praising Robinson for overcoming a horse accident.
Robinson will be pursuing further education in Colorado.
Guey commended Miller for going “above and beyond” to make Geuy feel welcome at the high school, immediately introducing himself to Geuy when the new principal took his position at the high school. “This guy is Mr. Covington,” Geuy said, adding that Miller has received accolades in FFA.
Miller said he will be studying animal science at Wilmington College next year.
Gooding called both of the students “wonderful role models.”
The board also held their first teacher spotlight, honoring K-6 intervention specialist Jessica May.
“She exemplifies what I think is a super teacher,” elementary school Principal Josh Long said. Long commended May for being a kind-hearted and compassionate teacher, treating her students the way that others would want their children to be treated. Long said that May goes “above and beyond” for her students; for example, she put up a rack of donated coats for students to use.
Following those spotlights, District Network Coordinator Levi Smith gave a technology update.
“The one-to-one program is doing awesome,” Smith said. The one-to-one program provides each student access to a Chromebook or iPad, and Smith said the district has done well in avoiding too many breaks or repairs to make on the technology. The district has spent approximately $1,200 on repairs, which Smith said were mostly broken screens. Smith said that the district will cover the first break on the laptops or iPads, while any additional breaks are expected to be covered by the students. Only one laptop has been in need of a second repair.
The board also approved the following items:
• Student accident insurance project with Student Protective Agency
• The Covington FFA chapter to attend the state FFA convention in Columbus on May 3-4
• The Covington High School program of studies
• The overnight boys’ basketball team trip to Ashland University on June 7-8
• Participation in the Ohio SchoolComp 2019 Workers’ Compensation Group Rating program
• A service agreement with META Solutions, an information technology center organized as a regional council of government, at an annual cost of approximately $16,198
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