WELLSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – The Wellsville School District is getting a lot of money each year from a partnership with an energy company.
If you live in the village or have gone to a football game there, you may have noticed a new look — turf for the fields and blacktop surrounding the field.
Those things were made possible by a partnership with South Field Energy.
“We were contacted about four years ago by Advance Power, which became South Field Energy, talking about the possibility of putting in a gas fire electric plant in our area,” said Superintendent Rich Bereschik.
South Field Energy is receiving a tax break from the district. In return, the school received $1.7 million during the construction phase of the South Field Energy plant.
Afterward, the schools will receive $1.5 million a year for the next 15 years.
The new field wasn’t even toward the top of the to-do list. First, was infrastructure.
“We put a whole new heating and cooling system in Garfield Elementary,” Bereschik said. “We also went and we put air conditioning in Daw Elementary.”
They also installed a new boiler system, hired a new high school math teacher, brought back elementary art and music teachers and are in the process of hiring a full-time mental health expert — another step to protecting the children.
“We’re probably one of the only school systems in Columbiana County that has a resource officer in every building, so we’ve taken a whole new approach to safety of our children,” Bereschik said.
He said they took care of things for the kids first before considering a track and field.
The next project is still undecided but the district is reexamining its needs.