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District OKs architect for complex

Falls board to pay firm 7 percent of $3M lease purchase

NEWTON FALLS — The Newton Falls Board of Education has approved an agreement with Phillips Sekanick Architects to design the new sports complex for the school district.

Superintendent Rocco Adduci said at Thursday’s meeting the architectural firm, which also is designing the athletic building for Warren city schools, will be paid 7 percent of the $3 million lease purchase of the complex.

He said five architectural firms submitted bids.

Adduci said previously the athletic complex would have a new track, synthetic turf, practice and playing fields, band shell with an aluminum roof, a video / digital scoreboard, fieldhouse, parking and lighting.

Adduci previously met with village council to see if it could contribute funds to the estimated $3.1 million project, as it will be available for use by village residents. He said the school district looked at a lease-purchase agreement and low-interest loan.

Adduci said the track was resurfaced and relined recently for the first time since 1998 when it was put in.

Director of business operations John Crowder said the track needed improvements.

“It was over 20 years since it has been resurfaced. There was some rough areas that needed work to allow the track to continue to be used for track meets,” he said.

In other business, Crowder said the district has only four bus drivers and is looking for another full-time and substitute bus drivers, which has been challenging.

He said two people are going through the training and background checks.

“We are in need of bus drivers. We can see if they can also help with mowing lawns and other work in the district,” Crowder said.

He said adjustments have to be made with busing.

The board approved hiring Tina Ray as a bus driver on a one-year contract.

Treasurer Carla Click, a board member in Lordstown schools, said all school districts are struggling to find bus drivers and other substitutes, such as teachers and classified workers.

Also, an open house was held for the public to see the new Tiny Tots Tigers Preschool and Daycare being provided to children of staff members and the community.

The preschool and daycare is located in the former elementary school.

Crystal Vincent, owner, said the board approved a one-year agreement for using the building.

The school district also received donations of rapid COVID-19 test kits from the village.

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