The Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools Board of Education was to meet Monday with an architect to discuss plans for a new athletic field house for the district.

The multi-purpose field house will be built between the high school and Lee Stadium, according to Superintendent Jeff Staggs.

"We've been needing another practice area for winter sports for quite some time," Staggs said.

No taxpayer money will be used to pay for the facility. The money will come from the Vernon and Edith Lee Trust Fund, which was also used to build Lee Stadium. Vernon Lee, who was an attorney in Newcomerstown, died in 1985, and his wife died in 1997. They donated part of the land on which the high school sits.

The district will be receiving the principal from the trust fund in July. Staggs said there is a little more than $2 million in the trust fund, which can only be spent on athletic facilities.

The field house will be used for every sport the district offers. "We want all athletes to benefit from this," the superintendent said.

It will also have a weight room facility, which will replace the existing one in the high school.

District officials hope to break ground in late summer, and if everything goes well, it will be finished by the summer of 2019 or late fall of that year.

"We're very excited about this opportunity and very blessed that the Lees left this money for the kids of this district," Staggs said. "We feel very blessed."

In the January meeting of the Newcomerstown Board of Education, the administration of the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District recently recognized members of the board for the month of January. The board consists of: Randy Addy; Board President, Tom Addy, Dave Archer, Steven Brode and Arlene Mayhew.

The following Newcomerstown students were recognized as Students of the Month:

• Jenna Stokes, Kindergarten

• Makieya Thomas, First grade

• Gavin Cooper, Second grade

• Miakoda Pippin, Third grade

• Hayden Williams, Fourth grade

• Rettie Donathan, Fifth grade

• Kayla Gibson, Newcomerstown High School Senior.

There were no Middle School students recognized for January.

Business discussed by the board included:

• Hourly wages for substitute secretaries, instructional aides, cafeteria, and custodial staff was approved at an hourly rate of $8.30 effective 1/1/2018. This is the minimum wage for the state of Ohio for 2018.

• Mileage reimbursement of 54.5 cents per mile effective 1/1/2018 was approved. This rate is per the IRS standards.

• Annual membership fee ($4,136) for Ohio School Board Association was approved.

• Alicia Moore , High School English, was approved for employment for the 2018-19 school year, effective for 1/17/2018.

The next regular board session is scheduled for Feb. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Newcomerstown High School Conference Room.