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Bellevue: New School Entrance Underway, Asst. Superintendent Eliminated

 

Work is well underway on the new entrance to Bellevue High School.

The $600,000 project is expected to make it more accessible to students who use wheelchairs.

Superintendent Robb Smith said the project is expected to be finished by August 1, ahead of the new school year.

There are two handicapped students, one who is in high school and has been struggling with the methods that had been installed to help anyone in a wheelchair to get into the school, which was originally built in 1930. The other student is just now out of Grandview Elementary, so will probably attend the high school next year.

At a meeting last fall, families of the handicapped students came to the board and pleaded for a better entrance for their children, saying their children deserved to go in through the front door of the school just like all the other kids.

Smith was moved enough to promise those families a permanent solution by next school year.

When the students come back to school, there will be a whole new entrance to replace the old one that had two sets of steps to get to the main hallway. Smith said the entrance will now be totally ADA-compliant.

"According to Senate Bill 1, there were some security issues that schools have to comply with about the entrances of schools, so in addition to making it ADA-compliant, we are making a security vestibule," Smith explained. "That includes redoing the front office. But I feel good about the timeline."

Covington-based Radius Construction is working on the project.

In other business, the Bellevue board of education approved the tentative $7.6 million budget, and also gave their approval for the audit contract with Barnes Dennig for $16,000, the same amount as last year.

It also approved preventive maintenance with full cleaning of all the HVAC parts with the exception of anything that was recently installed and may have a warranty on it.  The service will be done by Rechtin Heating and Air, and will cost $25,608.

The board voted to reduce administrative costs, and maintain all the staffing allocations.

One of the administrative costs that will be reduced is the position of assistant superintendent. Janice Winbigler will officially retire from that position on June 30, and the district will reassign and redistribute her duties, absorbing the position instead of filling it.

"Janice has been the cornerstone for so long," Smith said. "She will be desperately missed."

The board approved the professional development plans for both schools. 

Several students were outstanding for their leadership qualities this month: Claire Pennington, Dallis Turner, Josslyn Richter, Olivia Evers, Kinzley Rardin, Isabella Evers and Olivia Joseph were honored from Grandview Elementary, and Myleigh Wight, Jackson Day, Hayden Myers, Rosalina Lorenzo-Hernandez, Mia Bell, Gavin Lay, and Alexis Leger were honored from the middle school and high school.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

Photo: Grandview Elementary (RCN file)