Odessa will look at more shared services
ODESSA—Both Odessa-Montour school board member Scott Westervelt and resident Robert Tuttle suggested the district look at consolidation of at least some services with the Watkins Glen school district, during the Thursday, Feb. 9, meeting.
Tuttle spoke during public comment and said he was about to start a petition to encourage the district to do a study about the feasibility and potential cost savings of a merge. He explained he wants the districts to look at three possibilities:
• Merging some O-M and Watkins sports teams.
• Shared services.
• Merging all sports teams and both districts.
Tuttle added Elmira and Corning schools have merged. He explained he wants to know if merging Odessa and Watkins Glen would be better for the students and their education.
Westervelt said he wants the Odessa-Montour school board to meet with the Watkins Glen school board to discuss more shared service options. Odessa already shares a technology administrator with Watkins Glen. Westervelt said he wants the districts to look into shared services for maintenance supervisor, special education, athletic manager and purchasing.
When talking about merging sports, Westervelt said some teams only have a few athletes, like boys swimming: Odessa-Montour has five swimmers and Watkins Glen nine. He added that it would make sense to at least share busing with Watkins Glen if the two teams are going to the same event with so few athletes. However, Westervelt said there are teams like football that it did not make sense to merge.
Superintendent Jim Frame said the two districts sometimes do that. He added that the Odessa swimming and bowling teams shared a bus on Saturday, Feb. 11, to go to events. Board member Bill Schwenk suggested the Odessa board make a list of shared service options and then meet with the Watkins board. Frame said they could work on the list at the next workshop, Feb. 23, and he would contact Watkins Superintendent Tom Phillips about the two boards meeting.
In other business:
• The school board authorized the emergency repair of the junior/senior high elevator, which is not working.
• Athletic Manager Chris Wood reported accomplishments for the fall sports teams: girls soccer had two honorable mentions; boys soccer had one division MVP, two athletes on the first All-Star team, and four athletes on the second All-Star team; one all Twin-Tier football player; one Interscholastic Athletic Conference girls swimmer; and volleyball had one All-Star first team athlete, one All-Star second team athlete, and two honorable mentions.
• The board approved participating in a cooperative bid for both electricity and natural gas.