Penta board considers solar panels to supply majority of electrical service

A field of solar panels might soon pop up on the grounds of Penta Career Center along I-75 near the pond on the school’s campus.

Superintendent Ron Matter announced the tentative plans at the board meeting June 27.

“It looks like this could get going,” he said. “We’re trying to be out front on the technology out there today.”

The board’s buildings and grounds committee will meet in mid-July with representatives from GEM Energy and First Solar to discuss the project.

Mr. Matter said a 1.27 megawatt field is proposed, which would provide 57 percent of the school’s electrical needs.

The units would be fixed, and will not rotate to face the sun, he added.

The superintendent said two electric vehicle charging stations also will be added to the Penta campus that drivers could use with a credit card or smartphone app.

A presentation on the project is planned for the board’s August 7 meeting.

Student Uniform Funding

The board agreed to a new policy paying for two sets of uniforms for each Penta student, which will cost about $243,200.

Mr. Matter described it as “a very good investment of district resources.”

The policy is similar to the schools’ long-standing practice of paying student fees.

“We don’t want students to not come here because they can’t afford [expenses],” the superintendent said.

In the past, students with financial difficulties could apply for the school to pay for uniforms, which last year totaled about $40,000.

Students can re-use uniforms from year to year because the designs do not change annually, but the clothes tend to wear out, Mr. Matter noted.

“Some of our labs, the kids get dirty and sparks fly,” he added.

Families still will be encouraged to buy a third set to make laundering easier.

The board also approved the transfer of $194,129 to the student enrichment fund to pay for student and staff expenses at local, state and national competitions including transportation, lodging, meals and registration.

“That is part of coming to Penta and their experience,” Mr. Matter explained.

Treasurer Carrie Herringshaw said the principle in the fund, managed by the Toledo Community Foundation, remains untouched while the interest is used each year for expenses. The account has a $4.3 million balance.

Roundabout Construction

Kevin Baker, operations supervisor, told the board that construction of the two roundabouts on Buck Road are on schedule to be finished by August 16 in time for school to start.

“When it’s all done, I think it will be a great improvement for us,” he said.

Mr. Matter noted that the mini-roundabout built on Penta’s campus as part of the main driveway cut seven minutes off the time for students and staff to exit at the end of the day.

“So we’re hoping that speeds up even quicker with the two roundabouts,” he said.

In a related matter, the board approved an additional payment of $25,000 toward the roundabout project being done with Rossford, Perrysburg Township, TMACOG and the Wood County engineer’s office.

Mr. Matter said the funds will be used to finalize the property acquisition for the roundabouts.

“This is our share to pay the appraiser,” he added.

Other Business

In other business, the board:

•Granted a $4,000 each merit-based payment for performance to both Mr. Matter and Mrs. Herringshaw, after a brief executive session.

•Approved year-end transfers, advance and appropriation adjustments recommended by Mrs. Herringshaw.

She noted that overall interest earnings for fiscal year 2019 totaled $464,000.

•Heard from Mr. Baker that 11 students and three team leaders have been working on painting, mulching and cleaning more than 1,800 lockers this summer.

“They’re coming along pretty good this year,”he said.

The students are trained in the work before they start, he explained, and have painted about 10 classrooms and labs so far.

Mr. Baker noted the student labor allows the school to reduce the hiring of painting contractors.

•Learned that Ashland University will lease office space in Penta’s adult education wing.

In exchange, the university will offer Penta staff professional development and graduate credits at a reduced cost.

“We’re excited about this partnership,” Mr. Matter said, noting the Penta’s 16 member high schools will be invited to access professional development too.

•Approved employment of supportive personnel– Krista Archer, instructional aide, 180-day probationary contract, effective August 26; Merl Creps Sr. and Julie Zuchowski, maintenance I seasonal hourly July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020; Stacey Lawniczak, Amber Gonyer, Karen Harris, John McClure, Margaret Orzechowski, Roger Schultze and Tina Vogelpohl, job coaches; Amy Seibel, reassignment to payroll /human resources coordinator; Taylor Zuchowski, adult education aide, $15 hour.

•Approved employment of personnel–Kenneth (KC) Fleitz, masonry instructor, one year limited contract for 2019-20, three extended days and 2019 summer workshop stipend $6,015; Christopher Kerns, welding instructor, one year limited contract for 2019-20 and three extended days; Rebecca Lee, intervention specialist, one year limited contract for 2019-20 and one extended service day; Tricia Schoen, agriculture education instructor, one year limited contract for 2019-20 and 19 extended service days; Scott Carpenter, High Schools That Work coordinator, $275 per day as needed for 2019-20 school year; Emite Davis, Josh McIntyre, Anthony Koepfer, James Murphy, Zachary Kulwicki, Kelly Robb, Chris Lautermilch, William Schaffer, Tim McGaharan and Craig Wagner, adult education instructors, $25 per hour, for July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020; Lauren Rohrs and Persilla Zervos, Aspire instructors, $21 per hour, July 1.

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