LAKEVILLE – With an eye on the future, the local West Holmes County Board of Education has approved the purchase of 55 acres adjacent to high school land along State Routes 39 and 754 in Monroe Township.
Board member Eric Strauss stated that former West Holmes principal Gary Gehm attempted to purchase the same property in 1997 when the new high school was being built.
“Before we built the new high school, Mr. Gehm made an effort to try and buy the land we’re buying today,” said Strouss. “It gave us an opportunity to put a second route from the 754 at the school to relieve some of the traffic pressure in front of the school. It gives that opportunity again.”
The property was purchased for $25,000 per acre, for a total of $1.377 million.
Superintendent Eric Jurkovic said the purchase represented a great opportunity for the district.
“There is no general purpose for the land, but after 12 or 15 years on the road, if there is a need to proceed get to another road, because the traffic is a bit backed up in the high school with only one entrance,” Jurkovich said. “We’ve talked about our youth sports. We’re also working with our Facilities Advisory Committee to look at the direction we want to go in possibly building a new building.”
The superintendent said, “…we have come to a fair price for this land, and we very much value it as a school district.”
Treasurer Jamie Mollett said the district received funding from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER).
“We are not directly allowed to use ESSER funding to pay for the land, but what we are allowed to do is transfer some things that would have been paid for in the general fund into the ESSER fund to free up that money,” Albury said. “Over the past two years, we’ve been able to move enough expenses to offset the price of the land. The beauty of this is, as a district, we started with ESSER funding when it came to us in 2021, to address the learning loss. We’ve added multiple district-wide functions.”
Albury noted that many regions are able to do a lot of things for years to come because of the millions of dollars in ESSER money. It said purchases of Chrome books, laptops, and employees benefited from ESSER funds.
The Career Center is being built in West Holmes
The council also agreed to a ground lease with the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center Board of Education for the construction of the Career Center facilities in West Holmes.
The supervisor indicated that there were two changes in the ground lease contract. The original lease was for 50 years, but it has been changed to 20 years, and if no one is in the building, the school district will be entitled to use that building for whatever purposes are needed.
“If for some reason no one is in the building business, the county can use the building,” Jurkovic said. “I don’t expect it to go like that, but we just thought instead of having an empty building on our property, it would give us a chance to put something in it. It would be year after year at that point.”
Perfect math scores honored
Lakeville Elementary School principal Rick Mullins commended three students who received perfect scores on math tests during state testing from the 2021-22 school year.
Courtney Doring, fourth grader; Briella Babb-Traub, third grade; Asher Anderson, 5th grader; recognized.
Two Lakeville students were honored for their entries in the Fifth Grade Farm Tour competitions. Annie Snyder was awarded second place for her entry in the FFA Poster Competition; Courtney Doering, 3rd place, Soil and Water Conservation District essay competition.
Christina Wahl was hired as a speech pathologist at $75 an hour for one hour per week to service a student being taught elsewhere; Cassandra Mast is hired as guardian.
Middle school boys’ basketball coach Darren Yerian has been issued a supplemental contract.
Rosemary Taggart is hired as a substitute secretary, assistant, and media assistant, and Jennifer Jeffries and Jennifer Pyatt are approved at $110 a day as substitute teachers.
The board has also accepted the resignation of Aaron Renning, a professional assistant, effective December 9.