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Oak Hill approves renovations to pool

BY Sara Barker - sbarker@chronicle-tribune.com

MIER — Monday night, the Oak Hill school board approved multiple items on the agenda, including renovations for the pool and heard an update on the school’s solar panels.

Ryan Stout, the national solar manager for Performance Services, updated the board on progress made since the system was installed in December of last year.

“I think in the Midwest, you’re about the 18th largest system,” Stout said.

In this solar project, Stout is expecting to see an 80 percent reduction in electrical consumption and a $6.3 million net 30-year benefit to Oak Hill.

Not only is the solar panel project providing clean energy to the school corporation, but it is also providing hands-on learning for students in science classes about renewable resources.

The only hiccup in the project so far, Stout said, was having to fix the breaker after it blew due to aluminum being installed in part of the system instead of copper.

“The last few months, it seems like the system is operating pretty optimally,” Stout said.

People in the school system can also log in through their desktop or via a mobile app to see the energy the solar panels are generating.

Looking forward, Stout said his company will continue to monitor the progress of the solar panels. Also, Oak Hill Junior High is scheduled to install new transformers this year, which Stout said his company will oversee.

Another continuing development at Oak Hill is the renovation of the school’s pool.

The board has instructed Spear Corporation to work on phase one of the pool project, kicking off by draining the pool in late July.

At the school board meeting, four different budgets totaling $170,740 were approved to fix the tile, gutters and ramps inside the pool. The Construction Common School Loan, which Oak Hill already had access to prior to the pool project, is funding the renovation.

Oak Hill also approved Presence Learning, an online psychology counseling service to be available to students. Superintendent Joel Martin said he was “confident” the ratio of provider to student will be one-to-one.

The board committed $25,000 to the service, and has committed to receiving it for the 2018-19 school year.

Martin also said kindergarten through fourth graders will now have access to Apple TV, since they are the age group that uses iPads in the classroom. The funding for Apple TV came from leftover money from purchasing laptops.