Piqua BOE approves sale of school properties


PIQUA — The Piqua City Schools Board of Education has approved the sale of two properties, the former High Street Elementary School and the former Wilder Intermediate School, to the city of Piqua.

“Those will be our last two properties that we have continued to care for since the buildings came down,” District Treasurer Jeremie Hittle said.

Board members approved the sale during their regularly scheduled board meeting held on Thursday, Dec. 15. The buildings that were located on both of the properties have already been demolished.

The city will pay the district $175,000 for the property at 1249 W. High St. and $125,000 for the property at 1120 Nicklin Ave., the full value the properties were last appraised at in 2018.

The two properties are no longer needed by the district, and will be sold under the condition that no low-income housing can be built there in the future.

“I just want to be as transparent as possible,” Board Vice President Sean Ford said. “There are restrictions; it can’t go towards that type of housing.”

In other business, board members also approved a list of old and damaged books to be removed from the district’s school libraries, and heard an update on the district’s ant-bullying program.

“In December we always give a report/update on bullying,” District Superintendent Dwayne Thompson said. “We do that each December and each June.”

Information is collected through the district’s anti-bullying website, which can be accessed from the Piqua City Schools homepage at www.piqua.org.

“We collect all that through the bullying website,” Assistant Superintendent Tony Lyons said. “Even if we get a call, we direct people to that website so we have documented evidence of what’s actually happening.”

“Those go directly to the building administrator for investigation,” Lyons said. “We get all of the bullying reports, so we can follow-up with them as well.”

The number of bullying incidents has risen slightly since last year, Lyons said. Since September 6, zero cases have been reported at Spring Creek Elementary, and one incident was reported at Washington Primary School that turned out not to be a case of bullying. At Piqua Central Intermediate School, 61 cases were reported and six were actually cases of bullying.

“Piqua Junior High School had 14 reports,” Lyons said. “Two of them were bullying. Piqua High School had 18, and one of them was deemed to be bullying, for a total of 94 reports and nine actual incidents that we dealt with as bullying cases with our administrative team.”

Board members also approved the $76,405 purchase of an automated floor-scrubbing machine for Piqua Junior High School, and a memorandum of understanding with the Piqua Education Association regarding the salary for the district’s new E-Sports program coach.

“This provides the salary schedule for that coach,” Thompson said. “We did not have that until this year.”

The E-Sports program offers games such as Smash Brothers or Soccer, available on gaming computers set up in the student union.

“This is all still pretty new to us,” Thompson said. “It’s a student-driven idea.”

“It’s a really good thing for the kids,” he said. “It has brought kids who don’t normally participate in sports into an extra-curricular activity that’s been very fun for them.”

Board members went on to schedule their annual organizational meeting for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5. The board nominated Vice President Sean Ford to serve as president pro temp during the meeting.

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