Representatives from Solar Planet, Jerry Corbin and engineer Dave Dwyer spoke to the Vantage Board on Thursday. (Times Bulletin/Lindsay McCoy)
Representatives from Solar Planet, Jerry Corbin and engineer Dave Dwyer spoke to the Vantage Board on Thursday. (Times Bulletin/Lindsay McCoy)

Times Bulletin News Writer

VAN WERT - Thursday afternoon the Vantage Career center held their monthly board of education meeting and again met with representatives from Solar Planet to answer any questions about the installation of one megawatt of power on the facilities ground.
Representative Jerry Corbin and Engineer Dave Dwyer addressed all the small details of the project. One megawatt of power would consist of nearly 4,200 panels which would span across five of seven unfarmable acres. The other two acres will be saved for the school's goal to install prairie grass. No-mow grass would surround the solar units. All labor for solar installation at the school would come from the state of Ohio, and the unit itself would require minor maintenance over time.

Connie Boley of Swan Memorial and Artful Swan on Ervin Rd. in Van Wert presented to the board her idea for an art piece to cover a back wall in the school from floor to ceiling. Boley really wanted the piece to contain color, texture, and depth. Her finished product is expected to revolve around the idea, "Vantage, Get the Edge", with a large piece stating, "Skills + Knowledge = employment." This saying will incorporate a variety of different items including photos, pencils, and rulers. Beside it will be a large human figure comprised of a larger variety of objects that Vantage students will help to create and organize.

The statue will also hold a digital photo frame that will replay photos from the school's activities.

"When I graduated from Vantage, I never thought 32 years later I would come back as an artist," said Boley. Boley has set a budget of $2,000 for the project which is expected to be finished by February 25 for the school's grand opening. The board passed the idea after mutual agreement on the piece in a 9-0 vote.

Treasurer Lori Davis reported that Vantage Career Center should receive a payment of $12,000 in January 2013 for the state's casino revenues. By 2014, the school should receive $40,000 if enrollment remains the same. Davis also reported that employees have begun using an online absent system. Administration reports that the system is currently working well and is saving paper.

Superintendent Staci Kaufman reported that rebricking of the structure is complete, but landscaping is going very slowly as the school required that the company require a drug test for all employees. Move in into all new areas of the school is still scheduled for no later than Christmas vacation time. Kaufman also noted the district should qualify for $55,000 from Grid Smart for the new energy efficient building.

Kaufman also wanted to thank everyone who came out to Drive One for Your School. This event raised nearly $6,100 for the school.

The board was faced with passing the tax abatement for the old hotel in Van Wert that the mayor urged the school to pass. The old hotel would be transformed into an assisted living building. After a small debate, the board unanimously voted the item down due to their concern over previous lawsuits.

The board accepted the resignation of Vicki England as cafeteria cook. The school now needs to replace two vacancies. The new position as cafeteria cook will require less hours and no benefits.

A number of contracts were approved for virtual learning graders including Angie Shellabarger, Ashley Cline, Theresa Mengerink, Kelly Horstman, Laura Stocksdale, Katie Drerup, and Karl Tillman. Tanya Bunch was approved as health technology clinical supervisor. Mary Jane Fast was approved as STNA check-off for Health Technology Program. Approved student banquet workers included Donovan Carnahan, Jessica Everage, Sierra Groves, Olivia Hanson, Brittany Harruff, Bethany Heiser, Ashley Heishman, Chance Hollingsworth, Alicia King, Angel Lucas, Taylor Moore, Zechariah Price, Raymond Snyder, Jereka Spieth, Austin Steele, Amanda Carlisle, Austin Clark, Benjamin Dwyer, Cora Finfrock, Victoria Girardot, Bethanee Grote, Mark Inkrott, John Parsons, Jazzlynn Smith, Joseph Smith, Julie Whitten, Ashley Wurst, and Allan Zimmer. Approved adult banquet workers included Marcia Osenga, Panny Baucom, Cindy Harting, Diane Becker, Annette Klinger, Karen McGilton, Lori Allen, Nancy Keith, Vicki Smith, and Mary Ann Hall. Robin Burns was also approved as banquet supervisor.

Cynthia Krizan, Roger Roberts, and Karen McGilton were approved as adult education instructors as needed.

The next regular November board meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room.