The Solon Board of Education on Monday approved two bids for upcoming construction projects, one to replace the roof of Parkside Elementary School and the other to replace the drying system in the Solon High School Natatorium.

The roof contract was awarded to Willham Roofing Co. of Strongsville for $212,000.

Acting Superintendent Fred Bolden said this is the first step in the district’s systematic replacement of all district building roofs, starting with the conjoined Parkside Elementary and Solon Middle schools.

“All of our dual school roofs right now are over 25 years old at this point,” Mr. Bolden said. “It’s just really hard to believe that they are. And we are in the process of replacing all the roofs.”

The second contract is with Westlake-based Westland Heating & Air Conditioning, who will be replacing the desiccant system in Solon High Schools Natatorium for $780,000. Mr. Bolden said the current system is almost 20 years old.

Mr. Bolden also said the desiccant system dehumidifies the air in the pool area and cleans it of chloramines and other chemicals used to disinfect the pool water.

“It’ll still be humid, it’s still going to smell like chlorine but it’s going to be a lot safer,” Mr. Bolden said. “I know a lot of parents have been asking for this and I think it’s something that our pool really needs.”

Mr. Bolden explained that the school board is able to approve renovations and updates like these because Solon’s taxpayers voted for permanent improvement levies, freeing up money to maintain and upgrade educational and recreational facilities.

The board also authorized the investment of interim moneys through Wells Fargo Clearing Services and voted to authorize Wells Fargo Advisors as a broker-dealer for the district.

The Solon City School District previously made investments through UBS, a Swiss multinational investment bank. Board Treasurer Tim Pickana said the transition comes as a result of the board’s trusted advisor with UBS moving over to Wells Fargo and the investment fees will not increase.

“We have a great relationship together and I would like to continue that relationship as he moves over to Wells Fargo,” Mr. Pickana said.

The board also approved tax rates for the 2020 tax year. Mr. Pickana said the rates have not changed from last year.

The board approved district teachers Renee Beck, Anthony Davidson, Kelly Fishman, Robin Joseph, Jared Kleinhenz and Jaime Shiban to be home instruction tutors. When students miss school, the district hires home instruction tutors from its pool of teachers to visit students’ homes and help them with specific assignments or lessons.

The board voted to approve a handful of certified resignations, retirements and leaves of absence. Claudia Kozel, a language arts teacher at Solon Middle School, will be retiring on Aug. 1 after 21 years with the district. The board granted Orchard Middle School interventionist Jackie Halay and Solon High School Spanish teacher Elaine Swope two leaves of absence, both for childcare, during the 2020-21 school year.

Mrs. Halay is currently on maternity leave and will return in April. Mrs. Swope is currently on childcare leave and will be taking her second year of childcare leave as allowed by a provision in the Solon City School District contracts.

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