The Manchester Local School District Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Wednesday, August 13, the day before classes started. Most of the reports focused on how the district was ready for the new school year, but a few surprising items were brought up.
Superintendent Craig Hockenberry reported that they have opened the Valley View Health Center ahead of schedule. The Health Center had received billing number already and, as the time of the board meeting, they had seen 12 patients.
Hockenberry presented Board President Terry Himes with a citation from the Ohio Senate given to Manchester Local by Senator Joe Uecker during his visit to the new facility on Wednesday, Aug. 13. The citation notes the accomplishment of Manchester Local opening the first school-based health center in the region.
Himes thanked Hockenberry for the citation, and offered it to Treasurer Karen Ballengee with applause.
“This actually belongs to this lady right here,” Himes said. “[Karen] was the key to us getting this done.”
For those who haven’t been in the central cafeteria/auditorium, Manchester Elementary has large murals painted on the walls showing Looney Tunes characters participating sports, nutrition, and other activities. Cindy Bilyeu is the talented artist working on the project, and she will complete the entire set during this school year.
“[We] will soon have the most kid-friendly cafeteria in the history of schooling,” Hockenberry said with humor.
Not everything discussed at the meeting was positive, though, as Larry Napier, Construction Manager, brought up the status of the athletic complex. MSA Architects, the company responsible for the design of the structure, is causing frustration for the board.
First, MSA had left out three footers for the building, including one for a 30-foot long interior wall. When the contractors and the district pointed out the missing footers, MSA required a full change order and is expecting the district to pay for the expenses.
A second problem was the lack of proper drainage from the highest roof. Half of the roof slopes down to drain onto the lower roof, which has proper drainage. The other half of the sloped roof drains using five drain spouts that empty onto the sidewalk below it.
The district is concerned for the safety of the sidewalk when it gets cold enough to freeze water, and asked for a more developed catch basin. Once again, MSA expects a change order to be filed with the district paying for the expenses.
“I am the furthest thing from an architect or a builder,” board member Kathleen Stacy said. “That’s their job not to miss things, and they did. What do they say to us? Oops?”
“[MSA] tried to argue that it wasn’t necessary,” Ballengee answered.
Napier met with MSA recently and they have a plan for rerouting the drainage from the roof to a pre-existing catch basin. The discussion and decision concerning who will pay for the changes has yet to be made.
On a positive note, the board voted to name the new athletic complex the “Manchester Educational and Activity Center” or MEAC for short with the full spelling to be displayed on the outer wall facing US Route 52 along with “Greyhounds.”
Looking at athletics, Athletic Director Chris Young reported to the board that the OVAL football conference will be losing three teams next year, but there will be five teams next year with Fayetteville joining the league. Young also noted that the last football game of the year will be a home, conference game against Hillcrest Academy, as they don’t have a home facility.
The Jamboree Football Game on Friday, Aug. 22 was discussed, and it was decided that the game should be made an alumni game, inviting football players from Manchester’s past to attend the game and celebrate the first football game between Manchester and West Union since 1979. Football alumni from the 1970s are asked to arrive at the field by 7 p.m.