Committee will focus on safety

WOODSFIELD – The Switzerland of Ohio Local Board of Education has created a sub-committee focusing on the safety and security of the several high schools and elementary schools in the district.

“The board has created this sub-committee so we can work on making our schools safer for students, teachers and visitors,” said Superintendent Larry Elliott.

While not all of the details of this sub-committee have been released at this time, but the sub-committee is headed by Ronald Winkler and Ed Carleston. Janelle Comstock will serve as a substitute. The Student Resource Officer Sheriff Joe Kress will also be a major part of the sub-committee and making the schools safer for anyone that enters its halls.

The sub-committee was formed at the Wednesday, Jan. 23 meeting. The meeting date was changed from its normal Thursday night due to training that several of the board members had to attend.

While the creation of the sub-committee is a newer topic, an older issue that has been brought up at the recent board meetings was the air quality at River High School. Switzerland of Ohio Local School District has built several new schools in the recent years since the passing of the 2009 levy. River High School which was still in fairly good shape was added on to accommodate the combination of Sardis Elementary and Hannibal Elementary making River High School a K-12 school.

But while River has been under construction since the summer months, the students of River High School have had class in this environment which has resulted in several issues such as the school not having heat, chilly temperatures due to exterior walls torn down and extreme amounts of dust. These issues have been brought to the boards attention by teachers and a parents. One parent’s daughter has not been in school for more then a month due to health problems and doctors would not release her to return to River High School. In facing these problems the board had an industrial hygienist come in to monitor the air quality of River High School on Jan. 3 and found that the construction inside the school did not pose any threat to the health of the students that occupy the hallways.

In other news the board approved the following items:

  • The approval of the 2013 High School Graduation Dates
  • Approval of the Thyssen Krupp Elevator in Beallsville PK-12 service agreement, which goes into affect when the elevator is turned on. It is a one year agreement.
  • Approval for a service agreement with Buckeye Power Sales Co., Inc. which will goes to the generators for the new schools.

Other then the graduation dates for the high school, the items approved will come out of the half mil money for the schools, but not out of the general fund. All of the schools will have sprinkler systems and elevators.

Van Dyne may be reached at