Fenton property eyed for new school

Wood County Schools administrators will make the process in site selection for a new Williamstown Elementary School a little more formal.

Superintendent Pat Law said he will ask the Wood County Board of Education to take a vote Tuesday directing Assistant Superintendent Mike Fling to pursue the Fenton Art Glass property as the site for a new Williamstown Elementary School.

The vote is listed as an action item on Tuesday’s agenda, and assigns Fling “the task of contacting the owners of the Fenton property to begin discussion on the content and scope of a Letter of Intent to purchase the property for the purpose of constructing a new Williamstown Elementary School.”

The board already had directed Fling last month to pursue the matter, but the board did not take a vote. The act led to a letter from Gene Bem, saying he believed the board had violated open meetings law by not properly announcing its Feb. 12 meeting, not properly describing the details of the agenda items and by directing Fling to pursue the Fenton site without a vote.

He asked for documents concerning that meeting and the selection process for the new school site.

Bem is chairman and president of USGlass, owner of the Fenton Art Glass trademark.

Law said Tuesday’s vote is intended to address those concerns.

“We don’t feel there was a problem there. Mike had the authority to move forward with that,” he said. “To take any concern out of the picture, we are going to put that on as an action item as well.”

In an email Friday, Bem said he was contacted by Wood County Schools officials concerning his Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request and told the information he requested had been sent. He said he has not yet received the documents, but anticipates he will.

When asked about Tuesday’s meeting and planned vote, Bem said only he had “not been informed” of the meeting.