Utterback is back

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A familiar face is returning to the Pickerington Local School District.

At its May 12 meeting, the Pickerington Board of Education approved the hiring of former Pickerington Local Schools Treasurer Vince Utterback as the business and facilities manager for the district.

Utterback had served the district for more than 14 years as both assistant treasurer and treasurer.  He had resigned April 10 to take the business affairs and operations director position with Kent State University.

According to district officials, Utterback’s new two-year contract with Pickerington schools begins Aug. 1. His annual salary will be $84,872.

The business and facilities manager position had been vacant since Barbara Geis retired during the 2006-07 school year.  

Capital improvements updates

Steed-Hammond-Paul architect Scott Deisler told the board that, during the summer of 2007, half of the roof at Pickerington High School Central (PHSC) was replaced.  This summer, the remaining half will be replaced and bring the entire roof replacement project for PHSC to a close.

The roof replacement project is a part of the Ohio School Facility Commission (OSFC) expedited local Partnership Program.

In addition, six new tennis courts will be installed at PHSC this fall. The survey work for this project will begin by May 31 with the design phase completed by the end of June. The project will then go out to bid for about two and a half weeks with construction expected to take about six weeks.

The new courts are estimated to cost close to $400,000 and should be completed by early September 2008.

Financial news

Pickerington Local Schools Treasurer Dan Griscom presented the board with an updated five-year forecast of the district’s finances. Some items of note include:

•Commodity prices such as paper cost, natural gas and bus fuel have risen significantly. The district spent $296,985 on diesel fuel during the 2006-07 school year and the most recent estimated diesel fuel cost for the 2007-08 school year is $498,750. This is a 68 percent increase in the cost of diesel fuel in just one year.

•Interest rates, and thus interest income, have decreased substantially in the past year.  

•The forecast incorporates the latest student enrollment projections. If enrollment projections decline, this will decrease future year expenditure needs relating to salaries and benefits and other areas. It will also decrease the per-pupil funding the district receives from the state.

•The forecast indicates that, as long as external financial contributors come in as projected, the district will remain financially stable through fiscal year 2010, (2009-10 school year).

Graduation

The board approved 315 students from Pickerington High School Central (PHSC) and 394 students from Pickerington High School North (PHSN) for graduation.

Both schools will host ceremonies on May 31 at World Harvest Church, 4595 Gender Road in Canal Winchester.  PHSN’s ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and PHSC’s ceremony will begin at 1 p.m.

More than 5,000 seats are available on a first come first serve basis for the ceremonies that each feature two student speakers and acknowledgment of the top ten academic students from each school.

Lopez takes his seat

The board swore Robert Clayton Lopez in as the newest member of the board.  

Lopez replaces former member Gail Oakes who resigned April 15. He will fill the remainder of Oakes’ unexpired term that ends on Dec. 31, 2009.

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