Marion County Board of Education approves another change order for East Dale remodel project

Jan. 19—FAIRMONT — Members of the Marion County Board of Education remain frustrated with the East Dale Elementary remodeling project, which has had multiple change orders that have driven up the cost of the project.

On the school board agenda Tuesday as old business, board members learned that the national supply chain disruption continues to be the cause of construction delays and increased costs for materials.

Representatives from OMNI and Veritas were present to answer board member questions. The board was to consider a contract amendment, which stated the superintendent recommends the approval of a change order to pay for additional costs of escalation for asphalt paving.

Board members complained about how long the process has taken so far and the increasing costs of the project. The order was opposed, three to two votes by the board members.

"At the end of the day, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It truly does, but one of the things this council has been accused of is when projects are done, they are done halfway," Board President Donna Costello said.

The meeting started on a cheerier note as students from East Fairmont High were recognized by coaches and teachers for academic and sports awards and Marion County Schools Superintendent Donna Heston thanked hardworking coaches and teachers.

Awards were shared for students who were named all-state athletes in football, soccer and volleyball. The Voice of Democracy winners were named and the cheer team was recognized.

Coaches, administrators and teachers shared similar sentiments regarding how hard the students worked during the season. East Fairmont High football coach Shane Eakle was also named Big-10 Coach of the Year.

"I was very impressed with what Coach not only did himself, but what he asked his student athletes to do as well in mentoring students in the feeder schools. ...It was no surprise to me that you were named Big-10 Coach this year, so we certainly want to recognize him for that tonight as well," Heston said.

Following the recognitions, Rivesville Middle and Elementary School Principal Tyson Furgason and Assistant Principal Chris Binotto gave a presentation about their school. They gave board members a peek into some of the school's effective learning approaches they have implemented, student achievement and other programs.

The school has monthly drawings for students who have missed two or less days in the month, hosted a surprise Trunk-or-Treat for students with help from the community and have two reading specialists, among other approaches.

They also have two rooms open during lunch for students with missing assignments, which is separate from lunch dentition.

The Reflection Room, "is completely separate from lunch detention, it's just an intervention to help them and then also parents are sent a text to help notify them that there's a missing assignment, which helps with communication," Binotto said.

Board members also voted to approve Dawn King as Volunteer Athletic Trainer at East Fairmont High, provide funding to North Marion High and Fairmont Senior High for improvements and approved five employee retirements.

"We have five retirements this eventing. As always, we hope and pray our retirees have many, many more years of retirement than they did working for Marion County Schools. God bless our retirees," Board member Richard Pellegrin said.

The next Marion County BOE meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 6 in the Central Office located at 1516 Mary Lou Retton Dr.

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