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School eyes $9.7 million referendum

February 27, 2008
Bill Cahalan — Staff Writer
FAIRMONT — Fairmont Area Schools has moved one step closer to a $9.7 million bond referendum.

The school board voted Tuesday to submit a facilities improvement plan for deferred maintenance and improvements to the state Department of Education, which must approve the plan. The cost estimate for the projects is $9.67 million.

Fairmont is eyeing improvements at Fairmont Junior/Senior High School, Five Lakes Elementary, Lincoln School and the district maintenance shop. William Budd Elementary School is not included in the projects because of its uncertain future.

The plan includes roofing work, window replacement, boiler system replacements, projects to help the district comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, work on parking lots and sidewalks, replacement of bleachers, replacing the high school gym floor and upgrading technology.

To pass, the referendum would need a majority of the vote.

Board members have not decided when a referendum will be held. May or September have been mentioned as possibilities.

Besides a bond referendum, the board also plans improvements through a health and safety bond and levy program of $12.7 million. Based on state policies for K-12 education funding, the district would not be required to seek voters’ approval for this money.

Health and safety projects would include ventilation system upgrades, dehumidification, sprinkler systems, temperature controls and electrical upgrades.

Last November, Fairmont Area Schools voters — by a 2-1 margin — defeated a $29 million bond referendum for maintenance projects and improvements.

In other action Tuesday, board members accepted the resignation of colleague Renae Vetter, effective Feb. 29. Vetter said she could not commit as much time to the school board as she wanted because of work as an administrator at Lakeview Health Services Center, and given her work at County Market. She and her husband, Jeff, became the grocery store owners last year.

The board likely will appoint someone to fill the vacant seat. Voters would then get the chance to fill the position in the next election.

In other business, two-year contract settlements were approved for administrators after the board’s staff welfare committee reached agreements with the groups.

In the current school year, the high school principal will receive a salary of $94,471, the assistant high school principal $78,446, the Five Lakes Elementary School principal $91,424, the William Budd Elementary School principal $80,375, the director of instruction and technology $88,600, the district business manager $71,762, and the high school activities director $66,000.


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