TORONTO - During the city school board's meeting Thursday, members of the city high school Class of 1944 made a donation for a memorial bench to be placed near the new district building being constructed.
The bench will be placed once the new building to house grades sixth through 12th is completed next August, according to Superintendent Fred Burns.
"The Class of 1944 is so happy we are getting this new school," said Burns, adding class members still have fond memories of the current high school. "People in Toronto like to hold onto tradition, but these people are in their 80s and saw a need for a new (district) building. They gave us ($1,217) for the (memorial bench)."
DONATION — Members of the Toronto High School Class of 1944 presented the city school board with a donation of $1,217 to be used for the purchase of a memorial bench in honor of the Class of 1944 for the new district building being constructed. Those involved included, from left, Juanita Clark Kunkle, Dorothy Barnes Beatty, Nancy Byrd Smith and Virginia Bell Mayhew, all from the Class of 1944; and Bob Reeves, school district board president.
-- Mark J. Miller
Burns also said the board learned during Thursday's meeting a local business donated time and labor to upgrade the Toronto High School Stadium's sound system.
"Dave Hindman from World Radio Telecommunications gave us a donation to repair and update the speaker system in the high school stadium," said Burns, adding the business didn't charge the district for work completed. "We got an invoice, and the company billed us nothing."
Burns said board members expressed gratitude for the donation.
In other matters, the state has given the district the opportunity to apply for more funds for construction of an additional building. However, Burns said the district currently has no plans to apply for the state funds, which also would include asking voters to pay a portion of the cost for construction of any new building.
"We aren't going to ask the voters for any more funds," said Burns. "We're going to stick with what we have and what's built right now."
The state will give the district the opportunity to apply for more funds every year for a new district building, and Burns said the option remains open for future school district administrations to request additional funds if Karaffa Elementary School would ever need to be replaced.
"The opportunity is there for (future administrations) to apply for another building," said Burns.
"As long as the citizens are happy with what we have we will not be asking voters for (funds for a new district building)."
Burns said construction of the new district building is on schedule to be open by next August.
"We're looking forward to being in the building by then," he said, adding preliminary plumbing and electrical work is being completed, as well as the school's basic infrastructure. "We'll be under a roof by Dec. 1. That way work can proceed on the building all winter. Everything is right on schedule."
In other business, the board:
Approved a payment of $750 from the stadium account to Geddis Landscaping Co. for soil and plants for the Toronto High School Stadium; approved a $750 payment from the permanent improvement account to Rod Henry and Sons for 2-inch water pressure regulators at the high school stadium; approved a payment of $1,274 from the permanent improvement fund to the city for a new water meter at the high school stadium; approved retroactively hiring Wayne Peckins as a substitute bus driver; approved hiring Stephanie Dobler and Kristen Morris as instructional aides; approved Jessica Moore as junior high assistant girls volleyball coach; and approved Robert Leonard, Cathy Zimmer, Melissa Moffis Angela Brncic, Toni Voltz, Jonathan Durand, Patricia West, Jessica McCallister and Mike Bodnar as substitute teachers.
Approved endorsing other area school districts' levies - Buckeye and Edison Locals and the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School - in the Nov. 6 election.
"We all recognize the need for financial assistance (from the public) for our schools," Burns said.
"We hope the voters in other school districts will support these levies as Toronto voters have."
The next board meeting will be at 5 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Karaffa Elementary School library.
(Miller can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)