Preschool to be added at Beverly Center

BEVERLY — In a meeting Tuesday, the Fort Frye Local Schools district buildings and grounds committee discussed the addition of a preschool at Beverly-Center Elementary and continued talks over HVAC.

The Fort Frye district will be adding a preschool into Beverly-Center Elementary to be ready and state inspected by July.

Stephanie Starcher, superintendent of the Fort Frye district, said the preschool will be called Bright Beginnings, and the slots will be on a first come first serve basis with a priority on special needs children.

Starcher said they are going to be making an effort to target disadvantaged youth with the preschool, so Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief (ESSER) Funds will be used for the project. ESSER Funds were given to the Fort Frye district during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bright Beginnings preschool will base its tuition on a sliding scale, she said.

“In our preschool, it’ll be the two lowest categories of the federal guidelines for poverty, and then a reduced rate on a sliding scale for all the other income guidelines which compared to what you would typically pay for preschool is quite a good program,” Starcher said.

The committee continued its conversation on updating the HVAC system at its schools. At a previous meeting, the committee voted on five options presented by Dynamix Engineering and VSWC Architects and ultimately asked for further options to be brought forward.

On Tuesday, representatives from the firms brought forward three new options to the committee. After discussions over the feasibility and pricing for the schools, the committee compiled five HVAC options they would like to see priced before making a final decision.

The options are a split system with energy recovery ventilation (ERV), split system without ERV, variable refrigerant flow (VRF) with ERV and VRF without ERV.

Adam Grubb, mechanical engineer at Dynamix Engineering, said he will get together with a contractor to figure up pricing before the next board meeting. The project will take six to eight weeks to fully complete, he said.

“Right now, everybody’s pretty busy, so lead times are pushing out to the 15-16 week range, but that’ll subside over the summer,” Grubb said.

Kyle Nichols may be reached at



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