Board of Education Last Meeting of 2018
The first, very preliminary application figures show enrollment could be up again in the 2019-2020 school year for the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center. Interim principal Rick Brindley told the Career Center Board at its regular meeting December 20 that 181 students already have applied to come to the school next year compared to 149 at the same time in 2017 and 85 in 2016. “The next growth spurt will probably be from the beginning of January to the end of February when we typically see a pretty good increase of 60 to 70 applicants to come through,” Brindley said. Brindley also told the board that the 32 student increase may be “skewed” because the Career Based Intervention program fills up quickly. He also cautioned that the number of sophomore students at five associate schools is down 10 percent. A total of 436 junior and senior students signed up for Career Center programs -- including seniors only programs, and college now programs -- before the beginning of the current school year. Officials reported that 384 students were in the building in August on the first day of classes for all students, compared to enrollment at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year of 346.
The Career Center Board also heard a report from Treasurer Julie Smith on an Enterprise Zone tax abatement request for a pair of construction projects for Rex Holdings LLC in Ashland. The company is seeking a 75 percent property tax abatement for 10 years on new facilities for Eco-Flo Products Inc. and Primary Colors Design Corp., which currently are housed in a joint facility at 1899 Cottage Street. Plans call for a new 144,000 square foot building for Eco-Flow and an 111,000 square foot facility for Primary Colors, both on Commerce Parkway in the Ashland Industrial Park, at a total cost of between $19.3 and $22.9 million dollars. Rex Holdings says the project will create 18 new full-time jobs over the next five years and retain 52 full-time employees, two part-time employees and 20 temporary full-time employees. Smith said the presentation was for informational purposes because the size and length of the proposed abatement are within limits that do not require board approval. Ashland City Council and the Ashland County Commissioners will vote on the request New Year’s week.
In other business, the Career Center Board approved a two-year contract with Guardian Life Insurance Company of America for dental insurance for school employees. Smith said the move from a third party administrator to Guardian will give employees two options and save the school around $65,000.The board also approved updates to 29 sections of its bylaws and policies that involve administration, professional and classified staff, students and operations. The board also accepted the retirement resignations of special education instructor Linda Kay Rex and principal’s secretary Debbie Bursley.
The board also accepted the resignation of Engineering and Design Technology instructor Thomas Close, effective November 20.
The Career Center Board also scheduled its organizational and regular January meetings and a budget hearing for January 15 at 6 p.m. in the board meeting room at the school.