Rossford wrestlers will be getting a new practice room.
The Board of Education last week approved turning the weight room over to the wrestlers and making the wrestling room the new weight room.
The board action was in response to complaints from coaches and parents of of wrestlers about conditions in the room where the grapplers trained.
They have been saying since last year that the practice room, located beneath the field house, under the northeast stands, was afflicted with moisture, mold, and peeling paint and posed potential health hazards. The parents met with school officials in the fall, and voiced their concerns again last month at a school board meeting.
The room switch will be made as soon as possible to accommodate the Nov. 9 start of the wrestling season. Interim Superintendent Bill McFarland said he would hire an environmental testing firm to perform a mold assessment. He told the board his own examination of the room found no mold and that moisture had been infiltrating through the concrete floor during rains, but the problem was corrected.
Board President Dawn Burks acknowledged the panel had waited too long to address the problem.
"This was an issue brought up last year . . . We could have had all of this done in the summertime," she said.
She said she opposed taking action now out of concern that the needed remediation and renovation work would not be properly done during the school year.
Board member Doug Miller agreed that it might be best to wait until summer for the repair work to be done in the room. He wondered if the wrestlers might be able to use another school facility, such as the gym, for practice.
But board member Beverly Koch told her colleagues action should be taken right away. "Do it the right way and do it now," she said.
When the vote on the room switch came, it was 4-1, with Ms. Burks dissenting.
Mr. McFarland presented the board with a detailed list of considerations concerning the room switch, among them the need for both rooms to be cleaned and painted. If the wrestling room's poor condition rendered it unfit for wrestlers, the same would be true for the hundreds of students who would use it for weight lifting, he pointed out.
The superintendent also noted that the district's insurance carrier wanted any volunteers used in the moving process to sign a waiver exempting the school system from any costs if they were injured. Parents should be required to sign for students, and district personnel should supervise the whole moving operation, he said in his recommendations.
In other action, the board approved hiring the Ohio School Boards Association to search for a permanent superintendent. The cost will be $6,900.
It also authorized paying the architectural firm of Garmann/Miller and Associates of Westminster, Ohio, $42,755 to assess the needs and conditions of district's buildings. The work will begin this month and be finished by the end of the year.