BELPRE - The Belpre City Schools District Board of Education ended 2012 on Monday by closing out business and setting up the first meeting of the new year.
To start the meeting, Belpre City Schools Superintendent Tony Dunn spoke about the school shooting in Connecticut last week.
"I hate to start a meeting like this, but I think it is important to speak about the tragedy," he said. "Things like this do happen and could happen just about anywhere and you can't plan for the things that happened on Friday."
Dunn said the incident prompted him to speak to both principals and go over the emergency plans for Belpre's elementary and high schools.
"The best thing we can all do is to be vigilant and look for things that are out of place, not be afraid to question things you think are suspicious," he said. "As an educator, as a father and grandfather I am heartbroken over this."
Belpre High School principal Dennis Eichinger said he and his staff have been working to refresh the facility's emergency procedures and practice them, as well.
"With the direction of the seniors in our building we are doing well," Eichinger said. "They are filling leadership roles and doing well."
In other business, Dunn said Energy Optimizers did an energy audit of the district's buildings and turned in a comprehensive report to the board, which listed things the district can do to create energy savings.
Longtime board member Rod Hineman asked about having a work session with the company to figure out what can be done.
"We have done these kinds of things before where we borrowed money against the projected savings and I would like to know if that would be feasible here," he said.
Board president Fred Meredith said one of the projects would likely be the furnaces and boiler systems in all of the buildings.
"Our furnaces are shot and we can't find parts anymore," he said. "It's to the point where we need to do something."
The board has scheduled its yearly organizational meeting for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14, with the regular board meeting at 7 p.m. The state school board mandates the organizational meeting be held before Jan. 15. Board member Leonard Wiggins will be the president pro-tem for the organizational meeting.