New roofs, new buses and more approved in SWCS

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

The South-Western City Schools District Board of Education entered into agreements with multiple businesses and entities at its Jan. 7 regular meeting to provide safety to its students and buildings.

According to Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise, a $5 million contract has been awarded to JB Roofing Company, A Tecta America Company, to replace the roofs at East Franklin Elementary and Grove City and Westland High schools.

He said the bid approval came as a result of the no-new millage bond issue that was passed by voters on Nov. 7, which allowed the district to release funds for the project without the involvement of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Wise added that the contract was necessary not only because the roofs at these schools needed replaced, but also because rates on materials are expected to rise in the near future.

The board also approved a $1 million contract with Cardinal Bus Sales that will add five 84-passenger transit school buses, four 78-passenger conventional school buses and two 65-passenger with lift buses to its fleet.

Monte Detterman, director of business services, said this purchase was a result of a federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant that the district received last year. He said these new green buses will replace the oldest and least fuel efficient buses in their 200-strong fleet.

The bus contract that was approved also granted bids for 11 Motorola Radio Mounting Systems for $3,143; 11 REI Digital Video Systems for $27,797; and 11 GPS systems for $1,155. Those bids were awarded to B&C Communications, Transportation Accessories, and Tyler Technology Inc., respectively.

The board also entered into an agreement with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office to provide school resource officers at Franklin Heights and Westland High schools. According to the agreement, the district will pay the department $228,643 as reimbursement for the cost.

Tim Donohue, principal at Franklin Heights, said the school resource officer is an important partner in the continued safety of students and staff in the building.

“Our building SRO is an integral part of our school leadership team, providing insight and guidance when and where his expertise in needed,” he said in a written statement.

“In addition to his SRO duties, he serves as a mentor to our students, going above and beyond the call of duty to volunteer his time outside of the school day, getting to know our students better by attending athletic events, Special Olympics events and other school activities.

“Our students, parents, staff members know safety is a priority at school because of this strong partnership.”

In other news, the board elected Mindy Garverick and Robert Ragland to the positions of president and vice president, respectively, at its organizational meeting. Garverick, who has been on the board since 2008, has served as president three times previously (2011, 2012 and 2014). Ragland, who was appointed to the board in 2016 and then elected the following year, will make his debut in the role of vice president.

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