A plan that would turn the current practice field for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District into the location of a bus garage, two football fields, two basketball courts and more was unveiled Monday during a board of education meeting.
Doug Karnes with McCarty & Associates presented conceptual plans for development of the practice field — a block from McClain High School and between Eighth and Seventh streets — as the potential home of a new bus garage.
In the plan presented, on the west end of the property by Eighth Street would be a garage capable of housing buses and containing three maintenance bays. The building would also include storage for football and district maintenance. Fenced-in parking for district transportation vehicles is also a part of the drawings.
Moving east on the property there would be a full-size football field with a 70-yard football field next to it. Parking would remain, and possibly be extended, along most of the McClain Street side of the property. Two new, paved basketball courts would be placed on the northeast corner. There are currently two basketball courts at the southwest corner of the property that see much community use. It was important to the school district to be able to keep that aspect.
Initially, the district looked at building a bus garage at the property off of North Fifth Street, but is now exploring the practice field option due to logistical issues at the other property. Plans are still being considered for an athletic complex at the North Fifth Street property. Additionally, the old bus garage is still being considered for an athletic facility.
A presentation on the matter of property development by the school district will be available next month with the public able to ask questions and hear about the plans.
In other news from the meeting, district treasurer Joe Smith spoke about waiting for what the state budget will look like, which is a big factor in school funding. He said that he and other area school treasurers are to meet with state Rep. Shane Wilkin next week on the matter.
On the five-year forecast, which is mandated by the state to be done twice a year, the projected year-end balances for the next two years are more than $8 million. For the years after the amounts decrease, but Smith pointed out that these numbers are an assumption based on the best information available currently.
Things are going well at Buckskin Elementary, even with a pandemic and a new math series, principal Mike Shumate reported.
As he spoke to board members, Shumate said he went into the new school year with three goals — successfully adjusting to educating during a pandemic, introducing students to a new, more rigorous math series, and beginning the foundation building of Visible Learning.
As to education in a pandemic, Shumate thanked board members for giving the district the opportunity for face-to-face instruction. He said students, teachers and parents have all adjusted to the pandemic-related protocols of coming together every day and things are going well.
The new math series began this year, Shumate said, is very challenging, and educators knew that going in. While it is an adjustment, students are “really trying,” he said.
As has been reported previously, the district this year has implemented the beginnings of a Visible Learning Plan meant to help students use learning dispositions (embracing challenges, perseverance, taking ownership, continually growing, and being engaged in learning), learning intentions, and evaluate their learning by success criteria so that learning is visible to the learners as well as to staff, administrators and the learners’ families.
“We are expecting really big things,” Shumate said of the districtwide program.
Before concluding, the principal directed board members to look at a bench placed against a wall in the Buckskin cafeteria where the board meeting was taking place. Painted yellow, the bench has colorful handprints on it and the words, “Believe there is good in the world.”
It was made by the AOK (Acts of Kindness) Club, Shumate said. The club was begun last year by a special education teacher who wanted to provide a gathering place for students who had a harder time making friends, joining in, and socializing with peers. It is a club that weekly had 30-40 fourth- and fifth-graders coming to meetings.
Some of the things the club did, Shumate said, along with making the bench, include making Christmas stockings for bus drivers, writing letters to veterans, making blankets for the homeless, making Thanksgiving placemats for the elderly, and selling candy grams.
While the club has not been able to meet this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Shumate is hopeful the day when they can begin meeting again is closer than it is farther away.
Superintendent Quincey Gray, in her report, noted that winter sports have begun and as events are not open to the general public, the plan is to live stream all home high school girls and boys basketball games and add more events as the district is able.
Gray remarked on an all-call Monday that referenced a letter to be sent home with students this week that designates the two days a student will attend class if the district goes to a hybrid model of instruction. The district has no intent currently to go to the hybrid model. As long as it is safe for students and staff, the district will remain on a regular schedule.
“As long as we can, we will continue to be here,” Gray said.
Gray reminded everyone of the COVID-19 tracker that is available on the district’s website. Go to www.greenfield.k12.oh.us, then mouse over the “Our District” in the banner. The tracker is in the drop-down menu.
Earlier in the meeting, Gray presented JVS Delegate Greg Barr’s report, which noted that student Jayson Williams, son of Jennifer Nichols, has been highlighted this month at Laurel Oaks, where he is in the diesel program.
Employment recommendations approved by the board were: Sherry Stark, aide/monitor, cafeteria and clerical; Mishea Seldon, clerical, cafeteria and custodian; Bob Bergstrom, track volunteer; Coty Barnhart, middle school wrestling; Melvin Immel, wrestling volunteer; and certified substitutes Beverly Lyons, Randa Storer and Brian Strawser.
Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.