Hamburg administrators plan ‘just in case' Perry Elementary is not ready for start of next school year

Hamburg Area administrators have a plan in place “just in case” Perry Elementary Center Dedicated to Esther H. Ludwig is not ready to open for the first day of the 2014-15 school year on Aug. 25.

“It will be close,” Superintendent Steven Keifer said on May 19. “We plan to be there (on time), but we have contingency plans in place just in case.”

“Plan B calls for the elementary schools to start after Labor Day and the secondary schools to start on schedule. The classroom wing will be ready. We can live without the gym and the library for awhile.”

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The unusually harsh winter caused delays, according to Keifer.

“In Plan C, we stay where we are and the change could occur in October,” Keifer said, noting that there are no plans to repeat this year’s setup for elementary students for the entire school year.

All students in kindergarten through fourth grade squeezed into Tilden Elementary Center while fifth grade students were moved to the middle school for the 2013-14 school year.

In other news, school directors approved the proposed final budget for the 2014-15 school year which includes a one percent increase.

The $38.09 million budget reflects a 26.21 millage rate, an increase of .25 mills. A property assessed at $100,000 will cost the property owner $2,621 in property taxes, an increase of $25.

The millage increase will produce $190,000 in revenue with a remaining deficit of $22,000, according to Michele Zimmerman, business manager.

Zimmerman said that she will continue to work on closing the deficit before final budget approval which is scheduled for June 16.

In other news, school directors approved the playground surface for Perry Elementary Center at a cost of $59,935.

The poured rubber surface will cover 5,304 square feet and be paid from the general fund.

Perry Elementary Principal Dr. Shawn Gravish announced that the PTO raised $50,000 for five pieces of playground equipment, but price increases over the past two years have raised the cost to $61,177.

Installation will cost an additional $15,000 to $20,000, Gravish said.

“The equipment will be ordered in June and installed in late July,” Gravish said. “We will be looking for help from the community to install the equipment.”

The next meeting of school directors is Monday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the James A. Gilmartin Community Room.