COVINGTON — The Covington Board of Education discussed the possibility of selling the former Covington Middle School site at a cost of $20,000 to the village of Covington to be used for a park during their meeting on Tuesday evening.
Covington Village Administrator Mike Busse discussed the village’s plans to create a park at the site, which is currently open green space. The concept included installing a concession area, a splash pad, a stage, walking paths, and a parking area off of Grant Street. Busse estimated the cost of the park at around $750,000.
“It’s going to take the community’s support to do all this,” Busse said, adding that he felt like the community was behind the project. He added later on that he felt the village could also get support from entities outside of the village of Covington to help support the project.
Board member Mark Miller asked about how long the project would take and if it would be around a five-year project. Busse said that it would be around that amount of time in order to do fundraising for the project.
The board is currently considering selling the land to the village of Covington at a cost of $20,000, which Busse said a private benefactor would pay.
The board also discussed adding a covenant to the land as part of the purchase that would require that land to be always used as a park.
Busse indicated that the village did not want to purchase the land at this time if it came with restrictions like a covenant.
After Busse left for a village council meeting, the board decided they were still interested in pursuing a promise to make sure that the land is always used for a park for the public good, but they are still “very willing” to sell the land to the village, according to Covington Superintendent Gene Gooding.
“We are very excited to work with the village of Covington to help them with their park project. We just want to make sure that the land will always be used as a park, or as a place for the public good,” Gooding said after the meeting. “The village of Covington has a wonderful plan to improve the basketball courts that we donated. We are really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this renovated facility will have on the kids in our community.”
Also during their meeting, the board approved contracting with the Mercer Group, Inc. to re-crown the athletic field and install irrigation. The cost will be $148,445.
The board also approved an agreement with New Creation Counseling Center for counseling services for the district. The cost is not to exceed $100 per month for one day of service per week.
During the student spotlight portion of the meeting, High School Principal Josh Meyer recognized honor band members Elizabeth Schafer, Holly Beasley, and Ellie Hedges for their achievements in band as well as academically.
“It’s my pleasure to get to work with students like this,” Meyer said.
“These are three of our finest young ladies,” Gooding said.
Science teacher Kim Dunn held a small LEGO robotics demonstration with two students from her STEM class. Dunn explained that her class received 10 LEGO robotics kits at a total cost of $2,000 thanks to donations from the community and local organizations. The kits allowed the students to build small LEGO robotics of their own inventions that run off Bluetooth to connect to their laptops.
“This is the perfect opportunity to reach every student,” Dunn said, explaining that the students can work at their own levels and that they still see progression with each student.
During the staff spotlight, Elementary School Principal Josh Long recognized K-6 librarian Michelle Reck, saying other staff members described Reck as loving, compassionate, patient, caring, and engaging with students.
“She goes above and beyond,” Long said, adding later that the district was “extremely lucky” to have her in that role.
“I truly, truly love my job,” Reck said.
Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Roger Davidson then gave a presentation on the sheriff’s office’s Safety Town program, which would be for incoming kindergarteners next school year. It would be two hours a day, Monday through Friday, for one week in the summer.
“Every day will have a safety theme,” Davidson said.
The board ended their meeting by going into executive session to discuss personnel.
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