The Worthington Board of Education on Monday approved three contracts for improvements that will take place at the schools this summer.

The Worthington Board of Education on Monday approved three contracts for improvements that will take place at the schools this summer.

A bid for $241,475 went to G.H.M., of Columbus, to paint the interior of Thomas Worthington High School; replace lockers at McCord and at Worthington Kilbourne High School; and repair the finish at Kilbourne.

A contract for $245,375 went to Settle Muter Electric, of Columbus, to install new lighting in the auditorium at Thomas Worthington.

A contract for $98,573 went to J.A. Guy, Inc., of Dublin, and Trame Mechanical, of Dayton, for heating, air conditioning, and ventilation improvements to the elementary school server room.

All bids for a mechanical improvements package at various sites came in over the allowable limit and must be re-advertised.

The projects will be paid for by money from the bond issue approved by voters in 2006.

After this summer's work, there will be $8.3-million remaining in the bond issue fund.

Some or all of that could be issued in interest free bonds, if the district is approved to take part in a new program offered by the federal government.

Any money issued by the U.S. Treasury would cost taxpayers no interest, but could only pay for jobs done with labor being paid according to the federal prevailing wage.

A cost-benefit analysis would be done on each contract. If the cost of hiring prevailing wage labor is more than that of doing the work with bonds with 0-percent interest, the district would not use the federal money, explained district treasurer Jeff McCuen.

Board member Marc Schare cast the only vote against permitting McCuen to apply for the federal money.

He said the offer amounts to the federal government subsidizing some workers at the expense of other workers.

Taken to its logical conclusion, the impact would be to drive out of business the people who don't use prevailing wage.

Board president Julie Keegan said Schare was not being consistent with his own pledge to do what is in the best interest of the district.

Also on Monday, the board:

Approved salary increases for 15 teachers who completed additional education. The new salaries range from $49,849 for an elementary level teacher with four years of experience to $86,914 for an elementary teacher with 25 years experience.

Non-renewed contracts of three teachers who were working under retire/rehire agreements. Robin Blank, library media specialist at Perry Middle School; Judith Harn, science teacher at Phoenix Middle School; and Christine Luckey, first-grade teacher at Worthington Hills Elementary, will no longer be employed after the end of this school year. Part of the retire/rehire agreement reserves the right of the board to cancel contracts at any time.