TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education approved salary increases for the superintendent and treasurer, and heard an update on the stadium fundraising efforts at their meeting Monday.
According to Scott George, the vice president of private fundraising group Tipp Pride Association, the group is now planning for the project’s next phase. Phase one, the installation of a new field and some ground work for future phases, was completed this summer.
“One of the criteria for scoping that out was: What do we know we can fund now? Instead of planning something big that we may or may not be able to attain, what can we fund now to ensure there is something that happens this winter?” George said.
Phase two currently includes plans for a new concession building and restrooms on the home side. The restrooms will also be open to park visitors outside of events at the stadium. The current estimate for phase two is about $690,000, George said.
George said the restroom portion of the project will include contributions from the city, “some in-kind, some in dollars.”
“So that is phase two, as it is scoped right now, fully funded and will happen this winter,” George told the board.
The next “leap forward,” home side bleachers, press box, lighting and scoreboard, is expected to cost about $1.6 million, he said.
The fundraising target for the entire project is still about $4.9 million, George said. The group has so far raised about $1.762 million, including the $750,000 in Premier Health funds pledged by the district, which helped fund the first phase.
George said the group’s current finances “may not look a whole lot different” than the last time the school board reviewed them. He said the group is feeling some “fatigue” after two years of fundraising, but still ahead of other similar projects.
“We are still miles ahead, at this point in time, of what I think most people would call the standard from Boardman Schools up near Akron, where at this point in time in their project, they had raised $50,000,” he said. “We feel pretty good about where we are, but there’s lots of work still to be done.”
He said the Tipp Pride Association looked into hiring a professional fundraiser to assist with the project, but decided against it as they felt the cost would outweigh any benefit. The are considering working with a consultant to help identify strategies and reach donors.
He told the board that there are upcoming pledges that will be announced as they are finalized. Those pledges that are “in the works” will total about $450,000, he added.
“We have multiple donors that we’re working with that are really at the end of the phase of really kind of making those official,” George said. “We sent them an invoice for the first check actually today.”
During the meeting, the school board approved 4 percent base salary increases for both Superintendent Gretta Kumpf and Treasurer Dave Stevens.
Kumpf’s salary is now $132,616 and Stevens’ salary is now at $95,680, retroactive to the start of the 2018-19 contract year.
The board unanimously approved Stevens’ salary increase; board member Theresa Dunaway voted against the superintendent’s.
The board also approved the purchase of a 2019 Ford truck with plow package from Beau Townsend Ford at a cost of $34,373.
They also issued blanket approval for any overnight trips for teams or students who qualify for state-level competitions.
In other business, the board approved a change in contract for assistant high school principal Chris Zink from a one-year contract to a two-year contract.
Kumpf said a two-year contract is standard for new administrators, but it did spark a discussion about whether the district should reconsider that policy in the future.
Board member Corrine Doll questioned the two-year contract policy for new administrators, noting that other school districts typically offer new administrators a one-year contract. The board agreed to have further discussion about administrator contracts at a future meeting.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.