Changes in the work needed at Field Elementary School will save the district $4,000.

At Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Chillicothe R-II School Board meeting the board approved leave changes for employees and announced a change in the Field Elementary School construction project, which is saving the district $4,000.

At a special board meeting on June 27, the board discussed recommendations from the district's Welfare Committee, one of the recommendations was changing sick and personal days to just general leave. At Tuesday's meeting, the board approved the changes. The new policy states all professional and support staff who work 12-months of full-time employment will get 10 days of general leave, which can be accumulated to no more than 110 days. The board approved the changes 5-0, with Pat Jones not in attendance and Bill Hayen excusing himself from the vote.

At his first meeting as Superintendent, Dan Wiebers updated the board on several projects, which are ongoing throughout the school district.

Ongoing work at Field Elementary School for various repairs, including replacing and repairing portions of a masonry wall, adding three steel columns, installation of steel support brackets at existing steel joints, concrete repairs, grading, and the addition of subsurface drain piping along the south and east sides of the building is expected to be done 15 days ahead of schedule, according to Wiebers.

During the ongoing work, Wieberrs said he has been notified of additional vertical cracks in the structure, which the contractor, Case Contracting, LLC, has agreed to repair at no additional cost. During talks with a volunteer arborist and construction crews, according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Zach McMains, it was noted the drainage problem around the school is not due to the tress but the grading of the surface.

"We are going to be able to save the trees, and then save the expense of having to possibly add roof-top air conditioning units and any other unforeseeable consequences due to removing the trees," McMains said.

Construction crews will be adding additional fill along the building, but by not removing the trees the district is also able to save $4,000 on the project.

Concrete work at the high school and new elementary school, which will fix parking lot repairs and expand a play area will be completed Aug. 5-6. The demolition of properties owned by the district on Bryan Street will be completed by Aug 15.

The board also approved a Farm Bureau grant of $1000, which will fund a first-grade program that will teach children where their food comes from. The grant requires no match from the district.

The district will hold its annual tax rate hearing to set the levy for the school’s tax rate at 6:15 p.m., on Aug. 20. Wiebers said the community is welcome to attend the meeting, which is scheduled for 15 minutes before the regular monthly board meeting.