The Buckeye Valley Board of Education on Wednesday approved the demolition of the old Buckeye Valley West Elementary and heard remarks from Dr. Andrew Miller, who participated in his final board meeting as superintendent of the district.
During the final meeting of 2021, the board signed off on a $234,800 contract with Advanced Demolition Services (ADS) for the demolition of both the old elementary school on North 3rd Street in Ostrander and a barn the district owns that sits on 25.79 acres on County Home Road in Brown Township.
According to Assistant Superintendent Jeremy Froehlich, the buildings had not been in use since the new Buckeye Valley West Elementary opened back in 2019 on state Route 257. He added the old buildings are an additional expense to maintain and have become an “eyesore for the community.”
As to when residents in Ostrander can expect to see a demolition crew on site, Miller said, “The school is scheduled to be demolished this winter, but there isn’t an exact date yet.”
Once demolition is complete, the site will sit as an empty field for the time being, the board noted.
Froehlich also provided the board a brief update on COVID cases within the district, adding Buckeye Valley Local Schools is “not seeing a huge spike but (are) seeing increased numbers.” Froehlich said he hopes the holiday break will be a reset on cases within the district.
Also during the meeting, Miller thanked board members, past and present, for their service and support.
Miller has been with the district since 2000, serving as superintendent since 2014. Over the summer, he announced he would be stepping down as superintendent due to a recent medical diagnosis. Miller said Froehlich will serve as interim superintendent, while he will be stepping into the assistant superintendent role in January.
Miller also recognized outgoing board members Justin Osborn, Jamie Ottery and Randy Turner, all of whom took part in their final board meeting.
“I would like to thank the outgoing board of education members for their dedication to Buckeye Valley and our students,” Miller said. “I never once wondered where these individuals’ hearts lied.”
Miller also thanked current board members Amy Dutt and Jeff White, who was absent, for their “support and guidance.”
Miller added he’s “excited” for the new members of the board — Tom Ailabouni, Donald Dicke and April Scowden — who were elected in November and will join the board in January.
Turner thanked Miller for his comments and service to the district, and he wished Froehlich and the new board members the best in their new roles in 2022.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.