COLUMBUS GROVE — The Columbus Grove Board of Education wrapped up their final meeting of the year discussing improvements to the district’s athletic facility.

At the Dec. 17 school board meeting, Superintendent Nick Verhoff asked the board for input into the possible expansion of the district’s weight room. He said he discussed possible expansion of the weight room with coaches and the Athletic Director. Verhoff said the number of student athletes has grown over the years as well as the need to lift weights. They have been able to “knock off” a number of smaller projects over the years and now may be time for such a project, he said.

Board member Ned Stechschulte suggested setting aside monies for permanent improvements such as money coming in from the lottery instead of going to the voters seeking new funds. Treasurer Mark Ellerbrock said district did have a 1-mill permanent improvement levy at one time, but that levy expired when the voters approved a onehalf mill maintenance levy.

The board instructed Verhoff to explore options about expanding the weight room facility.

Dale Schroeder, maintenance director, reported he spoke with Tony Birnesser who said the roof on the new building for the district softball program is being finished and water lines are being installed with electrical work being lined up. The project will be completed in time of the first softball game next spring.

The board approved a bid of $182,660 by Birnesser Builders of Columbus Grove, which will be a concrete block building, supported by the Columbus Grove Athletic Boosters. The project will include a batting cage, storage, concessions, restrooms and locker rooms.

Meanwhile, Elementary Principal Brad Calvelage reported the third-grade reading test results that were completed in October. Calvelage said 75 percent of the students met the reading requirement while there are plans in place to help those students who did not.

High School Principal Brian Best praised the teaching staff for taking advantage of recent professional development opportunities. He also praised the student body who raised $1,000 this holiday season for charity. Best also reported the guidance department held a Career Day last week for seniors who participated in mock interviews with volunteer adult community members to refine their skills after graduation. Best said the students did a good job in preparing resumes for the event.

He also noted the success of the recent junior high choral program and on Dec.19, the school instrumental program for grades 7-12 who will conduct a holiday concert for the community in the high school gym. The high school chorus traveled to TV-44 once again to record for the Holiday Music Festival which will air during the holidays. The chorus segment airedseveral times in December, including Christmas Eve.

In other business, the board:

• approved the 2019-20 school year calendar which will begin Aug. 21, 2019. The Christmas break will be Dec. 23 through Jan. 3 and last day of school will be May 22, 2020.

• hired Brayden Sautter, varsity assistant baseball coach and Owen Fuerst, volunteer assistance baseball coach.

• heard from Schroeder that the maintenance staff will be completing some “odds and ends” during the upcoming Christmas break including applying a new coat of wax on the floors.

The next regular meeting of the Columbus Grove Board of Educations is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m. in the school library. Current board president Brad Brubaker was elected president tempore to lead the re-organizational meeting which will be held at 7:30 p.m., before the regular meeting.