School board discusses new building plans and safety

By Mary Jones | The Daily Advocate

ARCANUM — The multi purpose building project was presented on Thursday, March 8 at Arcanum’s regular Board Of Education meeting. The floor plans for the building are projected to be 18,500 square feet with an additional square footage of 2,600 for mezzanine and storage space.

The proposed designs for the building highlight a greenhouse, classrooms, community room, architectural lab, and a connection to the high school, noting it will be for safety reasons. It also will have a multi-purpose athletic room that will have the space to hold a batting cage and weight room.

A concern expressed privately from a member of the community to one of the board members is that the new building will increase their taxes.

“We have two people that are not real happy about what we are doing,” said Kelly Norris, Vice President. “They feel like they are paying twice. Why should we have to do this building here if we are already paying for our kids to go there?”

Superintendent John Stephens said that taxes did increase because of the bond issue approval, but that, “the new building is not going to increase anybody’s taxes.”

Towards the end of the meeting, the board members discussed security measures already in place for schools and possible security measures to use in the future. Teachers were given active shooter training from the Darke County Sheriff’s Department a few years ago.

“One of the major changes we’ve made is hiring a full-time resource officer,” said Stephens. “Previous to the incident, I had contacted a company in regards to a 3M film, about putting this film on many of our windows.”

The film would protect against people being able to get in and protect from extreme weather, but a concern of another board member was that it would keep emergency personnel out. He spoke with a few of his friends that are first responders and they told him that while the film does keep ill doers out, it will keep good people from getting in to assist during an emergency.

Besides the film on the windows, they discussed getting a separate walkie talkie system for staff members to communicate privately. Stephens used an example of a bus driver contacting someone immediately if there was a problem, instead of going through several channels to get to the person they need.

In other business the school board approved the following:

-Amounts from the budget commissioner and authorization of tax levies

-3-year contract of $4,708 with SchoolPointe, Inc

-Buying internet core switch , maintenance, and support from MobileTek

-Amended appropriations, given by the treasurer

-Create Fund 070, Capital Project Fund, for the multi-purpose building revenues

-Acceptance of donations for the multi purpose building

-Approval of payment amount of $5,605.03 for bus repairs

-Transfer local monies for the OFCC project

-Approval for Brian Pohlman to take students to the State FFA Dairy Judging Contest

-Approval for Brian Pohlman to take students to the State FFA Convention

-Approval for the 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.

-Accept the resignation from Theo Whitaker as High School Assistant track coach

-Approve the following coaches: Brian Reichert, High School Assistant Track coach; Theo Whitaker, half High School Assistant track coach; Jon Junkins, half High School assistant track; Lauren Brandenburg, High School football cheer and High School basketball cheer coach

-Approve policies for Business Advisory Council to the Board, Emergency Management and Safety Plans, Drug Testing for District Personnel Required to Hold a Commercial Driver’s License, GDPC Retirement of Classified Staff Members, Admission of Homeless Students, Student Absences and Excuses

-Accept resignation of Teacher Rachel Fearon on the end of the school year

By Mary Jones | The Daily Advocate