Addressing student safety and poor floor tile condition, Kutztown School Board approved a new High School Band Room floor and also removed from future agendas elementary and middle school reconfiguration talks.
In a unanimous decision Monday, the Kutztown Area School District School Board voted to approve an $8,718 renovation project to replace the tiles in the high school’s band room. The proposal was a complete reversal of the initial direction of the discussion, in which the project appeared to be headed toward postponement.
The floor tile replacement was only listed as a discussion item on the board’s agenda, but when Business Administrator/Board Treasurer David Miller announced that the replacement was a non-item due to complications, it sparked several members’ interest.
Completing the task before the start of the school year was a concern, as was how much of the room’s tiles needed to be replaced. The board had to choose between re-tiling just the lower level, which is 12,000 square feet, or the entire room, which totals 18,000 square feet.
After some back-and-forth discussion, Board Vice President Randy Burch made a motion that the entire band room be refurbished with new tiles, which was approved.
“Given the age of the floor, if you just did the one section and left the other section go…the older would be faded, weathered, [and] it would look very noticeable and different. I think it would have the look of a shoddy or half-done repair,” Burch said in an interview with The Patriot.
According to Burch, the photos that the board was shown of the floor depicted a number of tiles that were chipped or broken. Student safety was a chief motivator behind the decision.
“It’s really in a condition that I don’t think is the way we would want our students using the band room,” Burch said.
A second discussion item, that of elementary and middle school reconfiguration talks, was ultimately removed from the board’s future agenda.
Superintendent Katherine Metrick brought it to the board’s attention to decide whether or not they would open talks about reconfiguration at a future meeting, and the board voted against it.
“I don’t think you would get community support [on the topic],” Board President Carl Ziegler said during the meeting.
In other news, the board approved the restructuring of the district’s Technology Department. The restructure is designed to reduce the department’s high turnover rate.
“I’ve been here two years, and there’s [only] one person in the Technology Department that was here when I got here,” Metrick said. “We need to change some things to make it as efficient and effective and as nice of a place to work as possible so that people come who are highly qualified and stay.”
The board also approved action for two additional projects at the high school. They approved the purchase of blinds from Thermal Sun Screen for the library at a cost of $3,628, and approved Apex, Inc. to replace the grease drain at a cost of $8,284.
New blinds are a continuation of the work that has already been put into the library, which has received a fresh coat of paint. The blinds are not necessary for appearance’s sake alone.
“They use the [library] projector for classes throughout the day and those [the current blinds] aren’t very good at darkening the room, so these new ones will do a much better job of that,” Miller said.
The board will host their next meeting, a workshop, on Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the High School Library.