Published: Friday, January 11, 2008
Austintown board seeks evaluation of buildings
The board thanked a local philanthropist for a $100,000 donation.
AUSTINTOWN The school district is going to be eligible next year for money for building improvements, its superintendent told the board of education Thursday.
The money will come from $4 billion in tobacco settlement money through the Ohio School Facilities Commission, said Superintendent Doug Heuer.
Heuer said the money will be used to continue a plan from 1999-2000 to renovate the entire district.
He said a portion of that plan was accomplished with the building of the new Austintown Middle School on Raccoon Road.
Now, he said, the district will examine remodeling or replacing elementary school buildings and upgrading Fitch High School.
The board passed a resolution to find design firms to work with the school board and the commission. The firms will look at an evaluation of the district's buildings that the commission recently completed and at enrollment projections, Heuer said.
"They'll develop a long-range plan for the district and put a price tag on it," he said.
In other business at its regular meeting, the board thanked philanthropists Tony and Mary Lariccia of Boardman for a $100,000 donation to the Falcon Forward Campaign.
The campaign is made up of community people who are raising money for the school district's athletic facilities.
The donation will go toward building a concession stand that Tony Lariccia asked be named for Eugene Joseph Chepke and Dr. David Ritchie.
Chepke was a former longtime athletic director at Austintown and also a football coach, said Lisa Oles, township trustee and member of Falcon Forward.
Ritchie has been on the school board for 40 years.
Lariccia said he asked that the stand be named for them because of their dedication to the district. He said that when a district contacts him for a donation, he tries to find deserving people to name facilities after.
Lariccia also made a sizable donation in August to the campaign. He donated $50,000 in exchange for naming the Fitch High School baseball stadium after Richard L. Copolla, who coached the baseball team for 37 years.