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KC appoints temporary high school principal

Chicora school expansion project update given

KARNS CITY — Karns City Area School District’s board appointed a temporary high school principal at its meeting Monday night, Sept. 12.

Superintendent Eric Ritzert said the position would be supplemented by a dean of students position, and both would be filled by staff from the Sugarcreek Elementary School.

Jeff Wagner was appointed to the temporary position, while David McElroy was appointed dean of students for the 2022-23 school year.

The reorganization is the result of Karns City High School Principal Brenda Knoll taking medical leave for the school year.

“We’re optimistic this is going to be temporary. If we sense things are slipping, we’ll look at hiring external help,” he said. “We think we can make it work.”

Wagner, principal of Sugarcreek Elementary, will move to the high school to fulfill his new role while assisting McElroy as needed, Ritzert said. McElroy would remain at Sugarcreek and be chief administrative leader of the school.

“(McElroy) is a sixth-grade teacher at Sugarcreek. He’s been there for 25 years and is very knowledgeable, and we felt it’d be the best move to have him help in administration,” Ritzert said.

Chicora expansion

The board received an update on the Chicora Elementary School expansion project, which was put on hold in June because bids were $8 million over budget. Ritzert said they hope the project timeline can resume in the fall.

“We have to redesign a section of the building and place it back out to bid this calendar year to get accurate pricing,” he said. “We believe some materials have decreased in price since it went out to bid.”

The redesign would focus on the storm shelter component of the building so it can handle the influx of students anticipated when the two schools are combined.

“We want to make sure the specs are placed out accurately,” he said.

The district anticipated spending $18 million for the project with about four contractors. According to Ritzert, they plan to reopen bids to secure more interested prime contractors.

“That would also lower the cost,” he said. “We’re hoping to reopen bids in October or November, with a decision by December.”

The next Karns City Area school board meeting is at 8 p.m. Oct. 10.

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