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SRO in place, on duty at Lanesville

The 2018-19 school year is nearly two weeks old at Lanesville and, for the first time, the facilities are secured with a school resource officer on a daily basis.
Lanesville Community School Corp. received the maximum amount of state funding for school safety ($35,000) and is part of a countywide initiative to place a SRO in all county schools.
Any potential SRO went through training this summer, Steve Morris, Lanesville’s superintendent and junior-senior high school principal, said last Tuesday at the school board of trustees’ meeting.
‘We’re probably looking at a retired officer from someplace else,’ he said. ‘It’ll provide economic savings. They’ll only work when the kids are here. (The county) won’t have to pay retirement.’
Morris added they’ll have their permanent SRO in the coming weeks. For now, a temporary officer is in use.
School officials hope to finalize plans for a construction project in coming months, on the heels of completing a flooring, lighting, ceiling and interior improvement project. What exactly the project will look like is to be determined. The board of trustees last week discussed options such as continuing the interior renovation of the school and also a new playground for the elementary school.
‘We’re winding down one construction project and have been able to do dramatic improvements to the building,’ Morris told the school board members. ‘In 2019, if the board so desires, we’ll have an opportunity to do another project without impacting the tax rate as far as raising taxes at all. In 2018, the 2004 tax bond payment is going off. It’ll be paid off this year.’
Morris said there’s a lot that still needs to be done and, with the engineering aspect of it already complete, it would make sense economically to do it now.
‘We’re looking at other improvements that can be made to the existing structure,’ Morris said, noting such possibilities as new entry doors, technology updates in classrooms, PA/clock system and another parking lot.
‘We could come up with a great list,’ he said.
To help form that list, the board will have a public work session prior to its next board meeting, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m. (the regular board meeting will commence at 7).
The school continues to grow, with a total enrollment on the books for the start of the school year at 781.
‘It does seem like that will be up this year,’ Morris said.
Morris said they’ve had to turn down out-of-district student inquiries.
‘We’ve got a couple classes on the secondary level that are 30 to 35,’ Morris said.
Board president Robert (Bob) Schickel said he’s on board with improvements to the existing facility and then down the road when a new building is needed then they’ll have to go to the taxpayers.
‘We’re busting at the seams,’ he said. ‘We can’t do a building project without more land.’
Another decision the board will have to make down the road involves the current tax referendum that will continue through 2019, 2020 and 2021. They use about $270,000 budgeted per year from the tax referendum, with a significant portion of it going toward health insurance.
In personnel matters, the board unanimously approved the following new teaching hires: Kathryn Greenwood, Emily Taurman, Darcel McLane and Leslie Holdridge, all at the elementary level; Brianne Kinney, agriculture teacher; Rebecca Klusmeier, part-time math teacher; and Kim Snyder-Pullen and Pam Eisert, teaching assistants.
Athletic hires were unanimously approved as follows: Montana Brooke, JV volleyball coach; Kayla Smith, volunteer assistant high school volleyball coach; Ginny Crawford, eighth-grade volleyball coach; Heather Baker, seventh-grade volleyball coach; Brandon Feller, varsity soccer coach; Mark Frazier, assistant soccer coach; Mike Sizemore, varsity tennis coach; James Powers, assistant tennis coach; Amy Graves, junior high boys’ tennis coach; Lauren Petty, junior high cross-country coach; James Campbell, fifth-grade girls’ basketball coach; Lacy Crosier, sixth-grade girls’ basketball coach; and David Hussung, athletic custodian.
Dan Stilger was approved as the high school cross-country coach with a 4-1 vote, with only Chan Bailey voting against.
‘He’s a great guy; I just don’t think he is, in my opinion, the best cross-country coach we can have,’ Bailey said.
Bailey said they aren’t able to practice on Fridays because it is ‘date night’ and Stilger told runners they wouldn’t be in the big Louisville meet (St. Xavier) because they couldn’t win it.
‘That hit me wrong,’ Bailey said. ‘I don’t know if they’ve ever won a cross-country meet in 15 years … then we don’t need to go to Tell City, we don’t need to go to Austin; we might as well shut the program down.’
The board approved the resignation of Eric Pavey as high school softball coach and Lindsay Dunaway as an elementary teacher.
The school will host a cyber safety program Aug. 14 with three sessions: one for third grade, one for fourth through sixth grades and another for seventh and eighth grades.