With a vote of 5-1 at their Oct. 8 meeting, the Boyertown School Board of Directors has approved the renewal of the district’s intent to continue the PlanCon eligible projects that were submitted last year.
This decision authorizes the administration to send a letter of intent to the Pennsylvania Department of Education noting the district’s plan to continue with the projected construction projects.
The board had originally approved the submission of the projects for PlanCon eligibility at their September 11, 2012 board meeting.
The four projects included renovations and additions to the Senior High School, Junior High West, Colebrookdale Elementary, and the construction of a new elementary school building. To date, the only project that has progressed is the high school project.
In order to preserve the PlanCon status of the other projects, KCBA Architects has recommended that the board take action to make PDE aware of the district’s intent to proceed with the projects.
The recommendation encompassed all three projects. Each project was voted on separately at the request of board member Ruth A. Dierolf.
Prior to the vote, Dierolf pointed out the discussion of property tax relief in Harrisburg, and the fact that the area will still get hit with those taxes until all debt is paid.
“I don’t know if anyone is doing any research, we’re spending a lot of money as more and more people are out of work and are losing benefits,” said Dierolf.
Board member Ronald W. Christman stated that his vote of yes will be made in an effort to continue the process and eligibility.
“The intent is to keep our place in line for eligibility,” said Superintendent Richard Faidely in reference to the recommendation.
Board Member John R. Crossley stated that this approval will keep the option and by voting no he would be denying future board members the opportunity.
“It does provide future boards with options if the growth continues or accelerations. If it doesn’t, we can drop a project,” said board member Stephen Elsier. “I think we should keep the process alive. It would be premature to throw projects out.”
Each recommendation passed with a vote of 5-1, with Dierolf casting the dissenting vote.
At the start of the meeting, Faidley spoke about the School Performance Profile system which was recently launched by PDE. This new evaluation system takes the place of the previous school accountability system known as AYP. Faidley reported that the scores received for all 10 of the district’s buildings fall within a 11 point range of 84 to 95.
“We believe these scores show that our educational program in Boyertown Area School District is very strong,” said Faidley. “A score is score. We will use those scores as a platform for continued improvement.“