Covington schools memorabilia to be preserved

Limited auction under discussion

By Sam Wildow -

COVINGTON — Project Manager Steve Miller and Covington Schools Superintendent Gene Gooding confirmed that they will be saving the old photos of Covington graduates during the Covington Board of Education meeting Thursday evening.

“There’s rumors going around that we’re going to throw them away, and none of that’s true,” Miller said. “We’re not going to throw anything away.”

Covington schools will be working with local photographer Ben Robinson in order to catalog and preserve the graduation photos that are currently on display in the elementary and middle schools.

The photos will also be scanned and digitally stored. The public will be able to access them on flat screens that will be set up at the new school building in an area open to the public. Residents will be able to search for photos during a specific time, and the program that will be used will also provide details and information about that decade.

The board also discussed the possibility of a limited auction of items from the elementary and middle schools. For the auction, they can only sell loose items.

“We can’t take anything attached to the walls,” Gooding said.

They also cannot hold the auction at the elementary or middle school sites.

Board members discussed the possibility of having community members purchase the items ahead of time, then come pick them up during the four-day moving period. Miller stated that might leave the district open for liability issues if people get injured — possibly by slipping on the steps or straining themselves lifting heavy items — while picking up their items.

Miller suggested that the board could look into hiring an auctioneer. Board member Lee Harmon also suggested possibly contacting a consignment shop in Versailles and holding a consignment auction since the board’s goal is not to make money, but to give community members the opportunity to purchase items from the school that may have value to them or remind them of the schools. Harmon will be looking into that option, but there is nothing definite yet in regard to a limited auction.

Miller also updated the board on numerous ongoing projects, beginning with the dates that they will be moving out of the elementary and middle schools.

On May 31, the board of education will be moving to the Covington High School. On June 1-3, elementary and middle school offices, libraries, classrooms, and technology equipment will be moving to the high school.

They will also be able to move some items into the new K8 buildings for storage during that time period after receiving approval from the Miami County inspectors.

“It’s going to be a big week for all of us,” Miller said, adding that they already are moving the items that they can.

After June 6, no one will be allowed back into the elementary or middle schools without permission from Miller.

The board approved the contract of Lewis and Michael Moving and Storage to conduct all of that moving for a cost of $10,345. The board also approved allowing the superintendent and treasurer to authorize purchases up to the amount of $25,000 for contracts related to moving to the new building, renovations to the high school building, and construction related projects.

In reference to a possible corridor between the high school and K8 building to come in the future, Miller said, “We are going to pour sidewalk in there.”

They are not permitted to construct the corridor until the current K8 building project is done and officially closed out. However, they are hoping to put a temporary roofing over that sidewalk.

The board also approved a change order for the K8 building project for enhanced playground surface in the amount of approximately $234,000. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will fund $140,000 of that project, according to Miller.

In regard to renovations at the high school, the board authorized a bid package for phase two of the carpet removal and installation project at Covington High School and authorizing solicitation of bids for the work. The cost is expected be around $60,000.

The board also awarded the high school fire alarm replacement project to Slagle Mechanical Contractors, Inc., whose base bid came in at $72,900.

The board also authorized an agreement with Access Engineering to do the design work for the extended parking lot for the K8 building, the concrete work surrounding selected areas of the high school, and the resurfacing of the current high school parking. The cost is not to exceed $15,000.

Miller also mentioned that the Bucc Boosters are raising funds for a track resurfacing project, and the community is anticipating raising approximately $40,000 for it. Miller stated that the total cost of the project would be around $55,000. The board unofficially agreed to pay the difference for the new track surface.

Also during the board’s meeting, Covington Middle School Principal Matt Pond praised eighth grader Cade Schmelzer during the student spotlight, recognizing Schmelzer as an “outstanding student a leader and a role model.”

Schmelzer participates in football, wrestling, track, and baseball, as well as maintains a 4.0 GPA.

“He is very active,” Pond said. “He is exactly what we’re looking for in our students … Well-rounded, certainly respectful.”

Pond also added that when he asked Schmelzer what his favorite pastime was, Schmelzer said, “Welding with my dad.”

“And I just thought that was awesome,” Pond said.

Also approved during the board’s meeting:

• The high school’s program of studies

• The student insurance program with Griffin Insurance Company

• Administrative contracts and a 2 percent raise for the salary of the athletic director

• The high school marching band’s Florida trip

• The Covington FFA Chapter attending the State FFA Convention in Columbus

• A five-year contract with META Solutions to provide internet access services with a bandwidth of 200 megabytes at the annual cost of $18,288, which is expected to save the district approximately $2,500 a year with the five-year contract

Limited auction under discussion

By Sam Wildow

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall

Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall