School district updated on buildings, grounds


During its regular meeting on Aug. 15, the Galion City Schools Board of Education was presented with a buidlings and grounds update by Building, Grounds, and Transportation Director Brian Owens.

Owens explained the process for the district’s recent purchase of a used 2018 Ford Transit seven-passenger van as well as the hiring of part-time van driver Jimmy Hart. The van was purchased from Westerville City Schools and has already been put to use within the district.

Owens discussed recent replacements within the district, including chiller units at the Primary School.

“These were big jobs,” he said. “We had to lower down the motors, disconnect the fans, they were just froze up. Some pretty major repairs for sure.”

Owens also explained that they are in the process of trying to get electricity to the red shed at the soccer field behind the bus garage and Galion Middle School. The goal is for the electricity to be split inside and outside of the shed so that soccer will be able to use its PA system, and the district Building and Grounds crew will use the shed to store tractors and mowers. Another goal at the soccer facility is to get a water connection at the building as well so that the concession trailer can be moved near the building on the concrete pad.

Another portion of the presentation by Owens was about the resurfacing of the school parking lots across the entire campus.

“In the 17 years that our buildings have been here, there have been minor repairs done in certain areas, but not complete resurfacing,” he said. He went on to detail the zones of the school parking lots and how they have been divided up into sections and how they will be worked on gradually as funds are available. Owens is working through this process with Treasurer Charlene Parkinson.

Owens then went on to detail the hope of working with the City of Galion in the near future to create an access road on the land that is adjacent to the school campus. A portion of the land to be used is owned by the City of Galion, and a portion is owned by Galion City Schools.

“As it is right now, something bad is going to happen. The amount of traffic and congestion we have is too much, especially when the middle school and high school is released a few minutes apart with parent pickups, students driving, walking, riding bikes, and our buses,” Owens stated.

With that, Owens introduced his concept for Bluebird Boulevard, the access road he hopes to see put in to alleviate the issue.

“Jen (Allerding) and I have met with the city previously. My hope is that we can sit down again soon and make progress on this issue to do what is best for our schools.”

Also during the meeting, the board was updated on insurance coverage cost changes for district staff.

Presenting the information to the board was Parkinson, who provided details regarding the rising costs of health care overall and the anticipated increase that could be expected for staff on the current plan.

Parkinson explained that she had been in communication with the teachers union about the details of the increase throughout the process as she had received updates and information. The board approved the rates as presented, and Parkinson stated that she would be in further contact with both the district staff and the board regarding this process.

Near the conclusion of the meeting, Jeff Hartmann gave his first superintendent’s update, which included an important update about the district SRO position for the 2023-2024 school year.

“We have a contract for this school year with Officer Alec Thomas from the Galion Police Department,” Hartmann said. “I will be meeting with Officer Thomas tomorrow. We are hitting the reset button with our SRO relationship. It is going to be a fully uniformed police officer, not like what we have had before.”

“One of the biggest reasons I see for having a uniformed presence in hitting the reset button in this role is that he will be a visual reminder to our students and our staff that this is an actual police officer with actual police authority here on campus. This is going to be a very clear presence,” Hartmann noted.

Hartmann also announced that the newly formed “Tiger Tipline” is up and running with information for it linked on the Galion City Schools website. Students, as well as staff and parents, are welcome to use the reporting methods provided to report any bullying, suspicious behavior, or wrong-doing.

“See something, say something will be the mantra that will go along with this,” said Hartmann.

At the completion of the superintendent’s update, the board moved into a portion of the agenda which included a staff update. In the administration section was the appointment of Matt Tyrrell as district athletic director.

“Matt was very impressive in his interview,” said Hartmann. “He comes to us with a lot of leadership and a boatload of relationships and ties to the community. He has already hit the ground running, and he is very self-aware. I have been very impressed.”

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Galion Middle School Computer Lab.

Erin Miller can be reached at 419-512-2662.

No posts to display