By Nancy Schaar
CARROLLTON – With three board members present, the Carrollton Exempted Village School District board of education approved a one-sentence agenda item that allows armed staff in the school safety zone.
The sentence read: “That the board resolve to allow selected and trained armed staff in school safety zone as presented.”
The issue was on the agenda at the February board meeting, but was tabled. It was not listed on the agenda publicized prior to the March 14 meeting, but listed on an addendum to the agenda handed out at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I spoke to the sheriff and police chief. I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. We discussed training that will take place with these individuals. I will work closely with the police on this matter. When it’s time to select, I will ask the sheriff and police chief to be involved with that process. I have other items I want to look at too. What qualifications for those to go to the three-day training?” said Superintendent Dave Quattrochi.
Quattrochi criticized an article and headline in The Free Press Standard (FPS) following the February meeting which stated the board was considering having trained, armed staff at the schools.
“This shouldn’t be headlines. This is a safety plan used to keep our student safe. Many schools have done this,” continued Quattrochi.
Last month the Free Press asked Quattrochi who suggested the resolution, when was it suggested, when was it discussed, who will make these decisions, is there an application, does the person have to have a concealed carry permit, when will it go in effect, and for what period of time will the permit be approved?
The questions were not answered at the February meeting and were not answered again at the March meeting.
Quattrochi said it is not a matter of public record, it is a school safety issue, and no further information will be provided.
Board members Eric Roberts and Helen Skinner were not present at the meeting. Board president Rose Seck, Michael Pozderac, and Wendy Gotschall voted in favor of the resolution.
In an unrelated matter, Quattrochi updated board members and the public in attendance regarding the building project status of the new high school/middle school.
“We just got permission from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to proceed to the next phase. It is important to remember these are preliminary estimates and some things are likely more expensive. We hope to see bid savings and come under bid,” said Quattrochi.
The average overages for a construction project are from five to 10 percent and the current preliminary costs are only about two percent over, according to Quattrochi.
Quattrochi said that the board will be looking at Jefferson County, Columbus, Cleveland, Akron and other areas for bidding on the project, but will make sure local contractors will get work too.
Not all projects will be included in the state funding. Some are tree removal, widening the road, implementing a turn lane, building of the north access road, and a few others.
“There is a five percent contingency built into the project of $1.8 million and we can use that if needed,” said Quattrochi. He also said funds will soon be transferred from the general fund to the project account.
Gotschall pointed out there is already money in the general fund from the unvoted bonds that were approved to help fund the building project. No monies will be taken from the operational fund of the school.
“We expect to break ground before school is out. We want to do this with the students. It wouldn’t be right without them. We hope to have bids done in May and begin in June,” said Ed Robinson, director of programs.
Robinson also provided information regarding new state graduation requirements under discussion at the state level. More information will be coming after the state has made recommendations and decisions.
In other business the board:
– ADOPTED a resolution to approve the design development phase submission for the new high school/middle school and authorize the superintendent and the treasurer to sign pertaining documents.
– APPROVED a leave of absence for the 2017-2018 school year for Kelli S. Pridemore.
– ACCEPTED the resignation of teacher Kathleen A. Payne de Chavez effective Aug. 10, 2017.
– HIRED Holly R. Dodds and Ursula J. Mehno as summer programs coordinator, Tony R. Trussell as cheerleading basketball head coach and Ronald Nuzzolillo as spring musical assistant director.
– AUTHORIZED substitute appointments as certificated teachers Zackary F. Felton, Irishe L. Spurgeon, and Ashley M. Williams and Ammie O’Donnell as a classified employee.