School Board receives information on building project process


Information on moving forward with the issuance of bonds for the construction/renovation project at Wayne Community Schools was part of Monday's meeting of the Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education.

Jay Spearman with Piper Sandler spoke to the board on options for issuing bonds to fund the up to $27,945,000 project. He noted that requesting bonds for less than $10 million would allow local banks to participate in the process.

Spearman also suggested issuing bonds in more than one series to save on interest, as the district will not need all the funds at one time. He said his company will work with attorneys for the official language for issuance of these bonds.

The steps involved with the process, the timeline for moving forward and the different ways of issuing bonds were discussed.

On a related agenda, approval was given to pay an invoice from Carlson West Provonda for $43,886.24 for detail work connected to the construction/remodel project. The funds for this payment will be taken from the district's Building Fund at this time.  

In other action, the board approved an interlocal agreement with Wayne State College for use of the WSC facilities. The three-year contract is for $28,000 for the first year and $30,000 for each of the next two years.

Editorial changes were made to a policy dealing with the district's substitute teachers.

In addition, board members approved an increase in daily pay for substitute teachers from the current $135 per day to $155 per day, effective for the 2023-2024 school year. It was noted that this increase will make Wayne Community Schools competitive with other schools in the area.

Considerable discussion was held on the possibility of hiring a School Resource Officer for the District. 

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board he had spoken with Wayne Police Chief Marlen Chinn and Wayne City Administrator Wes Blecke on the possibility of one of the department's officers coming in to the schools. He said both were in favor of the idea with the intent of having a consistent person in the position to assist with building relationships with the students.

It was noted that having a full-time resource officer would cost approximately $75,000 to $80,000 per year. Suggestions from the discussion included having a person work for the district for approximately 10 hours per week to start and possibly increase this number as time went on.

Board members were in favor of having "an actual police officer in the building, not an armed administrator."

The agenda item was for discussion purposes and additional information will be gathered in coming weeks.

During administrator reports, Dr. Lenihan gave an update on extra duty contracts for the coming year, noting there are still several openings for assignments. He also provided information on the total cost of all the assignments.

A building project update included the fact that soil testing is taking place and the city of Wayne is moving forward with a purchase agreement for the property. This item will likely be on the city council agenda on May 16.

In addition, Carlson West Provonda and Hausman Construction will be present at the board's June meeting to discuss the schedule for the project.

Information was provided by each of the other administrators and included end-of-the-year activities such as Prom, various banquets, the amount of scholarship money received by this year's senior class and graduation.

Other recent activities included Spring Sprints, Field Days, finalizing of testing and the baseball team qualifying for the state tournament.

Because of the state baseball tournament, Dr. Lenihan told the board members that the graduation ceremony would likely be moved up an hour and begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13 in the Wayne High School gym.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, June 12 at 5 p.m. in the junior-senior high school library.