Board OKS sale of middle school site

COVINGTON — The Covington Board of Education approved selling the former middle school site lots to the village, contingent upon a 25-year covenant, during their meeting on Wednesday evening.

The board approved selling the site to the village at cost of $20,000. Board member Kerry Murphy noted that the board had the property appraised at $85,000.

“We do know what it’s worth, and knowing that we’re looking to sell it for $20,000, we know that it’s a gift … back to the community,” Murphy said.

The sale agreement stipulates that there is a to be a 25-year covenant placed on the property stating that the land can only be used for park use and recreational purposes.

The village council has not yet approved the purchase of this lot.

At the board’s last meeting in February, Covington Village Administrator Mike Busse attended the meeting and discussed the village’s plans to create a park at the site, which is currently open green space. The concept included installing a concession area, a splash pad, a stage, walking paths, and a parking area off of Grant Street. Busse estimated the cost of the park at around $750,000.

Next during their meeting on Wednesday, the board authorized Superintendent Gene Gooding to sign a memorandum of understanding for the purpose of participation in an athletic league with seven other schools beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.

At a Cross County Conference board of control meeting in February, 10 schools — Newton, Bradford, Arcanum, National Trail, Twin Valley South, Tri-County North, Tri-Village, Ansonia, Franklin Monroe, and Mississinawa Valley — submitted letters announcing their intentions to leave the Cross County Conference. Covington was invited to join the departing schools but elected to align with the remaining schools, which include Miami East and Bethel, to form an athletic conference with them and other schools that they are asking to join them.

Also during their meeting, High School Principal Josh Meyer recognized senior Sammi Whiteman during the meeting’s student spotlight. Whiteman, who broke a 27-year school record by scoring 1,893 points, was named the Southwest District Player of the Year and the Player of the Year in the state of Ohio in Division IV basketball. Whiteman finished her career No. 2 on the county’s all-time scoring list.

“She works just as hard at academics,” Meyer said. He added that Whiteman has a pleasant attitude and is a role model for other students.

Whiteman plans to attend Trevecca Nazarene University next year.

Meyer also recognized Covington High School math teacher Bob Batty during the staff spotlight, saying that Batty is innovative in his classroom.

“He’s always willing to try something new,” Meyer said.

The board later accepted the resignations of Jim Meyer as the head girls basketball coach and Matt Pond as the head boys basketball coach, effective immediately.

The board ended their meeting by going into executive session to discuss personnel.

Board members Dean Pond and Jim Rench were absent.

Sale stipulates 25-year covenant

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at