McDonald athletic complex moves along

McDONALD — The McDonald Board of Education has approved $21,600 for the chipping and removal of trees off West Second Street property where an athletic track complex and playing fields for soccer and baseball are planned.

Superintendent Kevin O’Connell said the board recently approved the second phase to remove the downed trees that, once cleared, will prepare the site for construction to begin later in the summer or early fall. Steel Valley Contracting of Austintown was approved for trees to be cut down at the planned complex location.

He said when the tree phase of the project is complete, site surveying work of the property will be done.

The district’s track by the high school does not have enough lanes available to meet standards for official competitions and is only used for practice and gym classes.

Officials have said many students excel in track and field despite the district not having a facility with proper standards to host a track meet.

The 35-acre site is near McDonald Avenue Extension and Olive Street, between Second and Third streets. The needed environmental and soil testing is complete, and mineral and oil rights issues have been addressed.

The board has been working with GPD Group Architects of Akron to review both the new site and the current athletic complex by the high school, which has both a football field and stadium constructed in the 1950s. The current site will continue to be used for football games.

Officials also have discussed needed improvements at the football stadium, including installation of new lighting, repairs to deteriorated sections of the stadium, addition of a new concession stand and restrooms, and the addition of sections compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Voters in 2016 approved a 5-mill emergency levy to support a new athletic complex with about $2 million left that can cover improvements.

In other action, the board:

• Accepted the retirement resignation of elementary music teacher Debra Woodford, who served more than 25 years in the district. Her last day is May 24;

• Approved an eighth-grade field trip to Washington, D.C., May 5 and 7 under guidance of high school teacher Chuck Mooney. Students will be excused from class May 6 and 7;

• Approved 60 seniors for graduation 10 a.m. May 25 at the high school gymnasium;

• Approved a shared services contract with Trumbull County Educational Service Center for special needs services to the district;

• Approved an agreement with the village for use of the Woodland Park pavilion for six school picnics in May;

• Approved a summer school reading program at Roosevelt Elementary School July 29 to Aug. 9 sponsored by a Title I grant;

• Approved Victory Athletics Inc. for installation of a volleyball system with referee stand and pad and basketball backstop winches and new aircraft cable;

• Accepted a $4,300 donation from McDonald Cheer Parents for cheerleading uniforms and raincoats.