The purchase of a five-acre tract of land for a new access road to the middle school/high school and progress on an auditorium project were discussed at Monday’s Hillsboro Board of Education meeting.
The board unanimously approved the purchase of the five-acre tract located on SR 247 from Donita Everetts for $40,000. Superintendent Tim Davis said the land would be used to build an access road from the middle school/high school to SR 247.
Currently, there is only one way to enter or exit the school grounds, which causes traffic backup issues during events attended by a large number of people.
Davis said after the meeting that the school district would ideally like to have the road completed by beginning of the 2020-21 school year, or at least by the time the new auditorium opens. But he also said no dates for construction have yet been determined.
The road would run from what Davis described as approximately left of the Sam Barnhouse Center behind the middle school/high school to SR 247.
He said the district has talked about naming the road Everetts Way as a way to thank Everetts and her family.
A 1980 Hillsboro High School graduate, Everetts retired from the school district in 2015 after serving as a teacher for 31 years.
“It’s going to be unbelievable for our high school and middle school. Now with the auditorium and piecing that together and the safety to get people in and out of the traffic on a daily basis, this is something that’s just going to be outstanding for our school district and our building,” Davis said.
The projected $6 million auditorium project is slated to be finished in November or December, Davis said last week.
At Monday’s meeting there were new pictures of the interior and exterior of the 800-seat auditorium posted around the board office room, and the board approved a resolution to begin the second phase of the project.
Davis said some of the footers for the auditorium have been poured and that a wall for where the rotunda will be located has been tore down.
He also displayed examples of what the carpet in the auditorium area will look like — red with some gray designs — and the material for seats, which will also be red. He said the color for the main curtain on the stage is still being discussed. He said the district has looked at a couple examples of red curtains, but that one of them looked kind of pink, and “we want to make sure we get something that looks red.”
During his superintendent’s report, Davis said 15 of the district’s buses were inspected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol this month. He said they all passed inspection for the 2020-21 school year with some minor issues that were corrected before the inspection was completed.
He also reported that from August to December this year there were three instances of bullying and harassment at the middle school, and that those issues have been reported to the state.
The Ohio School Board Association recently announced that the Hillsboro board has received a “gold level” award, and the board will be recognized during a March 10 OSBA meeting, Davis said.
At the beginning of the meeting, High School Principal Joe Turner recognized the HHS robotics teams, with one of them giving a demonstration to the board. Turner said the teams won a competition in Newark and have won several other awards this year. He said the robotics program started at the middle school level several years ago where it had good success, then it was also started at the high school and after a few down years, “this is probably the best year ever.”
On Feb. 22, Turner said, Hillsboro, collaborating with Greenfield, will host a 36-team robotics competition at Southern State Community College.
In October, board member Tom Milbery asked the community to help the school district’s Power Pack/Weekend Warrior program that sends snacks home with qualifying students over weekends and extended school breaks because it had 39 eligible students not receiving the food after the district exceeded its allocation from the Freestore Food Bank of Cincinnati.
There have been several donations to the program since, and Monday the board accepted donations to the program of $300 from an anonymous source, $500 from NCB, and $250 from Glenna Ross.
The board also accepted donations of $500 from the Knights of Columbus-St. Mary Council toward negative lunch balances, $194 from David and Marilyn Myers for school lunches, and $240 each from Buckeye Dentistry and Our Everlasting Memories for fifth graders at Camp Joy.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.