By Jeff Gallatin
Bay school district officials are making the first round of Horseshoe Casino Cleveland funds received from Cuyahoga County pay off for their students.
Superintendent Clint Keener said the district will be using about $35,000 from the funds to install a long-sought computer lab at Normandy School this year. The district received about $52,000 last Thursday as its first receipts from casino money disbursed by Cuyahoga County government officials to schools in the county.
“Getting a computer lab at Normandy is something we have wanted to do as a district for several years,” Keener said. “We were looking at putting it in the general fund budget next year, but then we found out about the casino funds and decided that this would be a good use for some of the money.”
Keener said district officials had decided to use all the casino receipts received for different instructional purposes.
“It will give us some additional ways of working on or assisting different programs with funding,” he said.
Keener and Normandy School Principal James McGlamery said the new lab will give Normandy flexibility it didn’t have previously, he said.
“It will help with instructional and testing programs for the students,” Keener said. “We were never able to have more than four students at one time working on that type of program at Normandy. Now, when we get the new computer lab set up, we’ll have stations for up to 40 students.”
He said having the capacity to serve more than a handful of students at one time with the new computer facilities will make the related instructional and computer work at the school easier.
McGlamery cited as one example new state testing requirements that will require the students to be able to go online to get the work completed.
“With just a few computers in each classroom, it would have been impossible to get it done,” he said. “With a computer lab, we’ll be able to put them all in one place to get it done. And it certainly opens up a lot of other good opportunities for teaching the students.”
Bay school board President Mike Caputo said the district will utilize the funds wisely.
“Since we don’t know if we will get these kind of funds in perpetuity from this, we didn’t want to put them in a program where we had to have the funds,” he said. “Putting them into a program like this, where we can find good uses for the money for issues that come up, seems like a good plan. Utilizing them for something that has been needed, like a computer lab at Normandy, is a good start for this.”
Keener said Daryl Stumph, the assistant superintendent of operations for the district, is already devising plans for getting the necessary equipment and setting up the lab at Normandy.
“We’re not wasting any time now that we have the funds,” Keener said. “Daryl’s already working on plans, and we hope to have it set up for use later this year.”
Stumph said Monday he had done his preliminary check of the facilities and that he believed that he could have the new lab ready in about a month.