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Mathews seeks another officer

VIENNA — A shortage of Trumbull County Sheriff’s deputies has prompted a request by the county to have the Mathews school resource officer return to the sheriff’s office instead of remaining in the schools.

The Mathews district has two school resource officers covering the district’s three buildings with one from the Vienna Police Department and the other from the sheriff’s office.

Superintendent Russell McQuaide said Maj. Jeff Palmer told him the sheriff’s department is five officers away from being 50 percent staffed.

“We are very grateful for what the sheriff’s department has done for us, but when I spoke to Chief (Bob) Ludt if they can give us another officer I was told they are also short staffed,” McQuaide said.

He said options are being reviewed to possibly release the sheriff’s deputy and who may be available to replace him.

In other business, the board met with architects Syed Abbas and Kevin Krepop with Architectural Vision Group of Westlake on plans for the athletic complex and Baker Elementary School.

McQuaide said the board needs to come to a decision to move forward with aspects of the project and what can get started.

“We need to be creative in our ideas and make some choices. Our goal is to get a consensus of what we want the project to be and AVG can help us,” he said.

Officials have discussed closing Currie Elementary in Fowler, which houses kindergarten to second grade, and having kindergarten to fifth grades at Baker and sixth to 12th grades at the high school.

Plans would be to add on to Baker, including an area for the board and administrative offices.

Board member Ken Wallace said additions to Baker are a luxury, but work on the roof and HVAC at Baker is necessary.

Board member Beth Haddle said a strategic plan needs to be put together with different phases of what needs done at Baker.

She said if Currie and the current board offices are closed and moved to Baker, there would be savings to the district. Haddle said the two properties could be sold.

“We need to show the residents what we can save by combining schools. We should do what we can in phases,” Haddle said.

Board members said closing Currie will mean fewer buses, one less principal, one less cafeteria and kitchen, and two less properties to maintain.

Abbas said proposed improvements at Baker could total $3.549 million, with HVAC, the board office addition and roofing. Abbas said proposed improvements at the Baker stadium complex would cost $747,000, including home side 500-seat bleachers and a new sound system.

McQuaide said a new goal post was placed at the football field.

Also, McQuaide said the district has remained mask optional since school started with the district having one confirmed case as of mid-September.

“A few students had to be quarantined, but so far things have been good. We want to maintain what we can and be as normal as possible,” he said.

McQuaide said if the district does have to shut down, the staff is prepared to go remote.

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