The new athletic complex at the Hillsboro High School-Middle School should be ready for interscholastic competition next week, superintendent Jim Smith said at Wednesday’s school board meeting.
Smith said an occupancy permit for the bleachers at the complex has been approved and that the lights and scoreboard were tested Wednesday and appear to be working well.
“We believe we’ll be in there next week,” Smith said.
Several other athletic facility topics were discussed during the meeting.
The superintendent said about 75 percent of the exterior fencing around Richards Memorial Field at the former school site was replaced last year and that a new interior fence separating the bleacher areas and the playing field was finished this week.
Board president Terry Britton said he and board member Bill Myers met with the school district’s athletic council recently and reviewed the parking lot beside the Cassner Building at the former school site. Britton said that for the first football game this year at least, driving on the road between the Cassner Building and football field will be eliminated for safety reasons.
Britton said traffic will be allowed to go around the other side of the Cassner Building, but not between the building and the football field.
“Too many people and too little space,” Smith said.
Britton also noted that “preferred parking” is being instituted at Chillicothe and East Clinton high schools. He said that basically means that visitors to athletic contests at those schools, which are members of the South Central Ohio League along with Hillsboro and Greenfield, will have to pay to park, at least in spots closer to the athletic facilities.
Hillsboro has no plans to charge for parking at this time.
As far as the athletic complex at Hillsboro, Smith said the school will likely have a dedication ceremony sometime in conjunction with an athletic contest in September.
“It’s going to be a nice contribution to our students, and of course to our community, too,” board member Jerry Walker said of the new complex.
Smith noted that a substantial amount of work on the erosion project under way on the southwest side of the new school has been completed. He said the hope is to complete the work around the parking lot on that end of the school during fair week. He said erosion work below that area will continue after the fair, but will not impact traffic.
Two visitors to the meeting addressed the Common Core Standards that the Ohio Board of Education has mandated that state schools implement this year.
Barb Cole, a former school teacher who was a candidate for a local state representative seat this year, said standards like those proposed in Common Core are ruining teaching and learning. She said the essence of education is curiosity and inquisitiveness and teachers who nurture and feed that curiosity.
She said that Common Core forces teachers to try to help the most students they can, which means the majority in the middle, and the exceptional students and students who need the most help, get left behind.
She asked the board to create a committee to study Common Core and bring a recommendation to the board about how it should move forward.
Another visitor who said she is a former teacher who still tutors students said Common Core includes left-leaning, socialistic material that students have to learn. She said some of the required reading material is pornographic.
“It’s not good for our children. It’s not good for our community. It’s not good for anybody. Common Core has to go,” she said.
School board policy is not to respond to public comments during meetings, but to respond to the speaker in writing within 10 business days.