These are images of the community center that will be located in front of the bus barn and beside the current track. The indoor track would enclose two basketball/volleyball courts and three batting cages. (Photos courtesy of Lincolnview)
These are images of the community center that will be located in front of the bus barn and beside the current track. The indoor track would enclose two basketball/volleyball courts and three batting cages. (Photos courtesy of Lincolnview)
MIDDLE POINT — The construction of a $4.8 to $5 million community center for the Lincolnview Local School district was approved by the Board of Education on Wednesday evening.

The district unveiled the proposed plans in November for the construction of the community center that will feature an indoor track, two basketball/volleyball courts, three batting cages, fitness center, athletic training room, concession stand area, locker rooms, restrooms, storage area and a community meeting room. The cost of the equipment to fill the center was not included in the estimate, but that is estimated to cost $300,000 to $500,000.

The batting cage area could also be used for tennis courts, pickleball or maybe even golf.

The community center will be built in front of the bus barn and beside the current track and field complex. It is expected to be built within a year to 13 months.

Operating expenses, with current electric and natural gas costs, are expected to be around $15,000 a year.

The cost of the community center will be paid through the district’s cash reserve balance which currently sits at $15.5 million.

The board held two community meetings regarding the community center within the past few months to allow the public to ask questions and Superintendent Jeff Snyder said from those two meetings and from discussions with members of the community elsewhere, the feedback was positive.

“I look at it as a community piece that all of our people can use if they so choose. As a parent you give a lot to your kid to come here, now when you’re here, the hopes are that you get to use a facility that you look forward to coming to as well,” Snyder said. “If we can get an even higher connection with people really appreciating our district, I think it’s a win-win.”

The plans for the building are close to being complete, but Snyder said there is potential to add another classroom to the plans as well as another entrance.

The decision of hours, how to grant access for community members and the scheduling of meetings in the community meeting room will all be made in the future months. During the community meetings, it was proposed that community members in the school district could sign up to use the center and pay a minimal fee for a key fob that would allow them to enter the center.

“We have a lot of unique needs and we try to look at the facility at how to meet not one need, but as many multiple needs as we could think of,” he said.

Also approved was an additional storage area in the bus barn.

“It’s two separate buildings, but one project together and our hopes are that we can get a better bang for our cost by putting that in there together,” he said.

In other business, United Way Director Vicki Smith thanked the district for its participation in the Rival United fundraiser event that was held at the end of January between Lincolnview and Crestview.

Lincolnview won the traveling trophy raising $7,962.40 compared to Crestview’s $6,177.60.

The amount raised will help to fund the American Red Cross smoke alarm program for Van Wert County, the Convoy Food Pantry, Wren Ballpark Association, the Convoy Sports Association, the Middle Point Ballpark and Lincolnview Latchkey.

“With this one event, we were able to fund those agencies,” she said.

“I had no idea that it would be the success that it was,” Smith said, noting she thought $3,000 was going to be a success. “It was a great event. I just thank everybody that participated in it. The support that we got from Lincolnview and Crestview was great.”

During the meeting on Wednesday, the board members were introduced to Karri Fife, the new health coordinator at Lincolnview, who has been busy in her first days in the position.

With several illnesses spreading around the county, the school started taking measures to disinfect surfaces in the school to stop the spread of germs and to inform parents that they should let their children stay home if they had a fever.

Fife reported that last week she saw about 54 kids in one day and today she saw 30, so she believes the measures are helping to stop the spread of the illnesses.

The board approved the employment of Roy Schleeter as a substitute teacher’s aide, cook and custodian; Deborah Dickson as a substitute cook; and Shane Hale as the athletic fields groundskeeper.

Supplemental contracts for 21st Century program tutors were approved for Nicole Early, Matt Evans, Elizabeth Utz and Stephanie Kriegel. Carley Springer and Ariel McMaster were both approved as a tutor and mentor for the program.

The resignation of Rebecca Matthews as a bus driver and Nikki Staten as varsity softball coach was approved.

Also the resignation of Kylie Owens as assistant softball coach was approved and she was granted the varsity softball head coach position.

Curtis Miller was approved as the girls high school track coach and Melissa Stork as the junior high softball coach.

Kyle Stechschulte and Eric Giessler were approved as volunteer baseball coaches.

The next board meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. March 8.