(Posted March 9, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
A solar company with an approved project within the Madison-Plains School District has approached school leaders about making a large donation toward upgrades to the district’s stadium and track.
“We are currently engaged in some conversation about this and the potential scope of such a project,” said Madison-Plains Superintendent Chad Eisler. “There is no formal agreement in place. At the moment, this is a discussion that is occurring about a possibility. This is not a guarantee.”
School leaders have decided to wait until after the May 2 election to make any decision about the potential donation. Madison-Plains is on the May ballot seeking voter approval of a bond issue to replace the current school buildings with one building to serve grades pre-kindergarten through 12.
The bond issue does not include upgrades to or replacement of the stadium and track. It focuses solely on school buildings. School officials don’t want to confuse voters by talking about potential stadium and track projects at this time, Eisler said.
The estimated cost of the proposed school construction project is $69 million. The bond issue request is for $63 million. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will cover approximately $5.5 million of the cost.
If passed, the bond issue will cost taxpayers $346 per year per $100,000 of property valuation. Information about the proposed project and the ballot issue will go out to school district residents in the coming weeks.
A cell phone service company has approached the school district about installing a monopole cell phone tower on school property. It could bring an estimated $563 in monthly revenues to the district over a span of 30 years.
“There also is the potential that this could really enhance cell phone reception on campus which is something that is desperately needed,” Eisler said.
Mark Mason, school board president, suggested the district wait to make a decision on the monopole until a master plan is completed for future use of school property.
“I think, move slowly on this,” he said at the school board’s Feb. 21 meeting.
Madison-Plains has budgeted $35,000 for Fanning Howey, an architectural and engineering firm, to complete a master plan for the school grounds. Eisler said he hopes to see the plan done this spring.
Speaking to the board members, Treasurer Todd Mustain said, “If nothing else, you guys have highlighted the need for that master planning for when opportunities like this come up. For us to be able to take advantage of them, we need to have a clear plan of where things in the district are projected to go.”
Other school news
• Mark Mason stepped down as the school board’s representative to the Tolles Career and Technical Center board. He served in the position for five years. The board appointed Thoula Xenikis, board vice president, to the position. She will serve through Dec. 31, 2024.
• The Parent Teacher Organization for the K-6 building hosted a KISS dance (Kids Invite Someone Special) on March 11. They will host a spring dance for students in grades 4-6 on April 14.
• Every week, each teacher in the K-6 building sends a special note home with at least one student in which they praise the student for one or more of the following: continues to perform well in class, makes a sincere effort and works hard in class, has genuinely improved and is working better in class, has improved in doing homework, behaves consistently well in class and school; and has been helpful and caring with fellow students.
• The district’s Wellness Committee is creating a student nutrition council. Students will provide feedback to staff on the food offered at lunch and their ideas for any changes.