By RON COLE
VINDICATOR EDUCATION WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Alphonso Curry Jr., former human resources manager for Tartan Textile, will oversee the city school board's minority hiring efforts for the $173 million facilities project.
The board voted 5-1 Tuesday to hire Curry as the project's equal employment opportunity officer at an annual salary of $55,000.
Curry will start the new post today, and his contract will run through June 30, at which time his performance will be evaluated, said Lock P. Beachum Sr., board president.
Responsibilities: Beachum said Curry will be responsible for making sure the school board's promises to hire 20 percent minorities and 20 percent female workers on the facilities project are fulfilled.
"It's up to him to make sure the contractors that we hire will make every attempt to reach those goals," Beachum said.
Tracey Winbush, board vice president, voted against the hiring, and board member Terri O'Connor did not attend the meeting.
Winbush said the board interviewed six candidates for the job. She said Curry was unprepared and did not interview well. She supported bringing in another group of candidates.
"Mediocrity just doesn't cut it anymore," she said.
But Beachum said Curry is a well-qualified city resident familiar with minority groups in town.
Background: An East High School graduate, Curry was assistant executive director of Associated Neighborhood Centers in Youngstown for three years before going to Tartan. He has a bachelor's degree from State University of New York.
The board reiterated that it is committed to reaching the minority and female hiring targets it set during the bond issue campaign for the facilities project. The board also promised that 50 percent of the workers would be city residents.
The facilities project, 80 percent of which is funded by the Ohio School Facilities Commission, calls for building six new schools and renovating as many as a dozen others.
Drawing of new school: Hanahan/Strollo & amp; Associates, city architects, also presented a preliminary drawing of a new elementary school to be built on the site of Taft Elementary School on the city's South Side.
The Taft building will be demolished at the end of this school year, and construction of the new school should begin this summer. The school should open by the start of the 2004-05 school year.
The facilities project also includes a new high school and middle school on the city's East Side, a new West Side elementary school, a new elementary school on the North Side and a second new elementary school on the South Side.