Changing of the guard on Milford School Board: Exterior classrooms heading this way

Willey and Fry

Pictured are new Milford School Board President Renate K. Wiley, left, and Vice President Barry R. Fry.

MILFORD – At its reorganization meeting, July 13, the Milford School Board voted to shake up its leadership, a new member suggested shaking up its schedule and the board talked about how it cannot shake money from minor cap funding for anything other than repairs or replacements.

Board Member Renate K. Wiley as selected as President of the 2015-2016 Milford School Board taking the reins from longtime President Marvin Schelhouse.

Mr. Schelhouse remains on the board as one of its members.

The President of the School Board answers questions of order at meetings, appoints all committees of the board, can call special meetings, signs all official documents and administers the oath or affirmation of office.

The president likewise has the same rights and powers as other elected members of the board to make motions, seconds, discuss questions and votes.

Also on July 13, Barry R. Fry was elected Vice President of the Board Of Education. The vice president presides over the meetings in the president’s absence.

Before relinquishing his office to Mrs. Wiley, Mr. Schelhouse administered the oath of office to newly elected School Board Member Yvette Dennehy.

When the newly organized board set to work, Mrs. Dennehy suggested that the body shake the status quo and think about moving its meeting nights from Monday to Friday. Her suggestion may help the school board work with the Milford City Council.

“I know some of the council members wanted to come tonight, but couldn’t because they are meeting at the same time,” Mrs. Dennehy said.

Milford City Council also meets on Monday nights and often the two meetings occur at the same time.

No decision was made on the suggestion, but Mr. Fry said the board would look into it.

Modular classrooms on their way

Milford School District Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Kohel reported on July 13 that the district would be purchasing two modular classrooms thanks to assistants from the state’s FY 2016 Bond Bill.

Modular classrooms are exterior, prefabricated buildings that administrators hope will help to relieve overcrowding at the Central Academy and Lulu Ross Elementary School.

“This will allow all the first grade students to remain at Ross,” Dr. Kohel said.

The State of Delaware entered the $230,000 into the finance legislation approved on June 30. That will cover 70 percent of the cost of the two prefabricated-buildings.

“We have the option to spread the cost over a few years. Our portion will be $69,000,” Dr. Kohel said.

School district officials thanked State Representatives Harvey Kenton and Dave Wilson for all their support by helping to secure the funds.

New coat of paint at high school will come from Minor Cap funds

During his report, Dr. Glen Stevenson, supervisor of buildings and grounds, asked the board to accept a bid from a local contractor to paint part of the interior of the Milford High School this summer.

The bid was for $22,700.

When Ms. Dennehy heard the project’s price tag, she said, “I don’t think this is the right time.”

She further asked if there were other things the district should spend more than $20,000 on.

Dr. Stevenson and District CFO Sara Croce explained that the funds would come from minor capital money. The fund, referred to as “Minor Cap,” is money restricted only for the repair or replacement of district buildings or materials. The money cannot be used to purchase new equipment, classrooms, books or for salaries.

Dr. Stevenson also explained at Mrs. Dennehy’s request that his maintenance staff could not do the work themselves due to the volume of other projects they have to complete before the start of the school year.

Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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