- Michael D. Clark Staff Writer
The project leader behind the largest school construction project in Fairfield Schools’ history retired last week but was immediately rehired to a one-year contract.
Fairfield Schools’ Director of Business Operations Tom Weiser has coordinated almost all aspects of the Butler County’s planning and building of three new schools - all of which are scheduled to open Sept. 5.
Weiser was awarded a one-year contract — starting Aug. 1 at his current salary of $110,227 — by the Fairfield school board meeting last week. The board voted 4-0 with member Michael Berding absent.
It’s a rarity in the history of Southwest Ohio school systems to see a district open three new schools simultaneously, and the project will impact thousands of Fairfield students.
Fairfield Schools enroll 10,000 students.
Keeping Weiser on the construction projects and initial months of operation for the three schools - Compass and Central Elementary and a new Fairfield Freshman School - are essential for smooth continuity, said school officials.
“We are close to completing an $80 million project, and he (Weiser) has a (working) relationship with all the contractors,” said Fairfield Board of Education President Dan Hare.
Hare also cited Weiser’s “good management and good oversight” during the planning and construction process, which included demolition of the old Central Elementary and this week’s planned demolition of the old Freshman School.
He also praised Weiser’s management of the projects and bringing them to near completion $1.4 million under budget.
“It is in the best interest of the district to do this,” said Hare.
Weiser’s contract will run through June 30, 2018.
Fairfield Schools Superintendent Billy Smith praised the board’s move, saying “it has not been the norm for this district to rehire retirees.”
“But this is very unique situation for Tom and the school district. Tom has been our point of contact during this presence for many years. It is in the district’s best interest to have him serve for one more year,” said Smith.