By MAX FILBY
This fall, students at Findlay High School will notice a nearly $2.5 million difference.
The high school’s entrance will be upgraded this summer with a security door, cameras, and a new office that anyone entering after school has started will have to go through.
On Monday, the Findlay school board accepted a bid for the project from Thomas & Marker Construction of Bellefontaine.
The bid of close to $2.5 million was the second lowest, or about $45,000 more than one submitted by Telamon Construction, Sandusky. The district decided to go with Thomas & Marker after experiencing problems with Telamon Construction and its hiring of subcontractors during the building of the new Millstream Career Center, Superintendent Dean Wittwer said.
The project, one of the district’s two remaining school entrance updates, will start this summer and finish sometime in October or November, Wittwer said.
“It’ll be one of our last big ones,” Wittwer said. “Jacobs is the other one we’re working on and that will be done this summer, too.”
With the main high school entrance still under construction when students return in August, students will instead enter the building through the back of the school, or through the entrance to the freshman wing.
That entrance is a set of doors at the front of the building, located below a stone bearing the school’s name.
The school board also accepted a bid of $194,500 from the same company to make alterations to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the building’s auditorium.
Separately, the school board discussed making changes to Findlay High School’s class schedule. At its next meeting, the board will likely be presented with two schedule options.
Changes in the schedules would only be “minor tweaks,” so parents, students and teachers could take the best parts of the current schedule while leaving any troubles behind, Wittwer said.
The new schedules were conceived after several discussions and with input from students, teachers and parents, Wittwer said.
However, board members Jane Robertson and Barb Lockard asked that more surveys be done before a final decision is made. The current survey included between 60 and 100 students, said Richard Steiner, director of secondary education.
“I think if the teachers aren’t happy with the schedule, then the students won’t be either,” Robertson said.
This is the first year the high school has had a schedule offering two separate tracks. One track, called blue, allows students to attend school during periods one through seven, while another, called gold, allows students to attend school from periods two through eight.
“It’s meant to be flexible,” Wittwer said. “If a dad works third shift and can’t get up to get his kid to school that early in the morning, then they have options.”
Some students attend all eight periods, using the final period for optional classes or extracurricular activities.