Though some members showed considerable concerns, Kutztown School Board has voted to move forward with their stadium renovation projects, after accepting bids at their monthly workshop meeting Monday, April 3.
The bids up for approval were for site work construction by Schlouch, Inc. for $1,493,900; general construction by Vertek Construction Management for $895,820; mechanical construction by Vision Mechanical for $118,790 and electrical construction by H.B. Frazer Company for $595,642.
Board members Alan Darion and Jim Shrawder voiced their concerns for various aspects of the bid.
Nearly $100,000 of the bid will go towards sodding the field. Darion questioned the long-term benefits of having a field composed of sod, rather than traditional seeded grass. His concerns were met with the belief that with the proper maintenance, sod will last longer than traditional grass.
Both Darion and Shrawder cast their votes towards a motion that would delay the acceptance of a bid for the construction of the field house. Shrawder proposed the motion after sharing his concerns that they would be overpaying for the construction of the facility.
“I can’t vote for a project where we’re spending $640,000 on a field house,” said Shrawder.
The facility would include plumbing and electric, leading the majority of the board to believe that this is a fair bid for the amount of work for this project and the labor that it will entail.
“We had quite a fair amount of discussion regarding the cost of the field house,” said Board President Carl Ziegler. “The fact is that we do need storage, we need facilities for the restaurant and also for the restroom facilities. So while we thought that portion of the bid was maybe a little higher than we would’ve expected, nonetheless you could hardly have projects without a field house.”
The rest of the board agreed after all previous discussions on the project, that this bid has the best interest in the district, students and community. Some showed concerns that pushing the acceptance of the bid back would further delay the progression of the project.
Board Vice President Randy Burch backed the choice made by the facilities committee, addressing the unsatisfactory condition of the current athletic facilities.
“We have students who do a tremendous job in this district with very little sometimes,” he said. “We owe it to our kids to take care of our facilities and to make an investment in these facilities. We owe it to the community to make an investment in the condition of these facilities.”
Burch strongly believes that this is the right time to move forward with the project.
“I understand that there are some people who are very concerned about these expenses, and I get that and I understand that because it is a lot of money,” said Burch. “But, I also see a tremendous amount of support coming from the Education Foundation and other people in the community. That is in the form of time, effort and financial support when it comes down to it. I fully anticipate there is going to be a lot of support coming from the community and these sources and they’ve already put a tremendous amount of time and effort in this. And for us to now try to jeopardize that when so many other people have given us their support, I think would be undesirable for us to do.”
Ziegler argued that more and more students are choosing where they continue their education based on athletic facilities, and that this project is the last piece to their puzzle of renovations.
“If we don’t do it now, when will we do it?” he asked.
The board voted against Shrawder’s motion to delay the acceptance of the bid on the field house.
“There’s no reason why Kutztown can’t beat any other school district in this county and quite frankly we do compete and we do excel in most cases,” said Burch.
Shrawder also motioned to amend the acceptance of the bid, to include the stipulation that the facility would be open to the public. In the recent past, the area was padlocked to keep visitors out, but Shrawder thinks that with the new updated facility, that policy should be updated.
The motion was approved with the condition that the policies committee would generate a policy that the track would be open to the public.
There will be a Grand Opening of the Kutztown Area High School and dedication of the John Silan Gymnasium on Saturday, April 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. The event is open to public and children are encouraged to attend. There will be classroom tours, staff presentations, student presentations and performances and light refreshments. The formal ceremony will begin promptly at 2 p.m. in the John Silan Gymnasium.
In other news, the board accepted a few donations. Kutztown Area High School rifle team was given a donation by the Kutztown Rod and Gun Club in the amount of $2,500. Two more checks in the amount of $1,000 each from the Fraternal Order of Eagles were accepted for the softball team. The Fraternal Order of Eagles acceptance also donated a check in the amount of $1,000 to the basketball team.
The Board of School Directors also approved a donation to the Kutztown Fire Company in the amount of $150.
Under personnel, Tucker Mertz was approved as high school boy’s tennis assistant coach for the 2016-17 school year, at a stipend of $2,200. Marshall Hill is approved as high school boy’s volleyball assistant coach for the 2016-17 school year at a stipend of $2,262. Tim M. Hartranft as high school boy’s volleyball volunteer assistant coach for the 2016-2017 school year. The approval of Brock Krumanocker was approved as high school baseball volunteer assistant coach for the 2016-17 school year.
Aaron Ashman and Josh Chambers were both approved as co-advisors for the middle school drama club for the 2017-18 school year at a stipend of $1,000 each.
Vincent Dabrowski was approved as a long-term substitute for high school mathematics effective on or before April 22.
Two resignations were accepted with regret. Steven Fordyce, district cafeteria food delivery/maintenance worker, has reigned due to retirement, effective Aug. 11.
Shenell Mitchell, middle school girl’s basketball coach, retires effective March 21, 2017.
The Board approved the 2017 Extended School Year (ESY) and High School Summer Work Program and staffing for eligible students. One teacher preparation day will be granted for both programs.
ESY and High School Summer Work students will attend Monday through Thursday from June 20 to July 27. There are no student sessions on Monday, June 19, Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4. Hours of instruction for both programs will be 9 to 11:30 a.m.
Instructors will be paid $24.50 per hour and paraeducators will be paid at $14 per hour for ESY/Summer Work Program only.
Vickie L. Bastian was approved as an instructor for Elementary School Learning Support at Kutztown Elementary School Instructor. Ambika S. Khanna was approved as a paraeductor. Linda M. Schroeder was approved as instructor for Elementary Life Skills Support at Kutztown Elementary School, Martha J. Bergman was approved as a paraeducator.
Lori E. Christ was approved as an instructor for Middle School Learning Support at Kutztown Middle School. Alison J. VanDuren was approved as instructor for Middle School Life Skills Support at Kutztown Middle School, Joanna O. Waidelich was approved as paraeducator.
Erin M. Tenney was approved as instructor for the High School Summer Work Program at Kutztown Area High School, Kutztown Area Middle School, Kutztown Elementary School, and District Administration Building, Nicole M. DeLong Amy J. Pettit.
Julie A. Weaknecht and Betty J. Parks were all approved as paraeducators.
Additional personnel were also approved for June 20-July 27 from 8:30-11:45 a.m. Carol J. Fairchild was approved as nurse aide and Tina M. Schmeck and Vanessa Sherrer as substitute school nurses. Ashley DeWitt was approved as speech and language pathologist.
Several individuals were approved for summer programs and staffing for 2017.
For the Elelmentary Summer Reading Program, Andrea D. Stern, Jane E. Venkauskas, Lori E. Arndt, Lisa M. Moyer and Heather L. Dewald, were all approved as staff. Kerri L. Schegan was approved as staff and coordinator for a stipend of $500. Allison M. Scheidt was approved as substitute staff. Katherine S. Mannai was approved as librarian four days a week. Joyce E. Burch was approved as program aide for $14 per hour.
The staff dates are as follows, June 19 is teacher preparation day; Monday through Thursday for June 20-July 27, for 3.5 hours per day. The hours are 4.5 hours per day for weeks 1 and 6. The rate is $24.50 per hour. The will be no workdays on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4.
The student dates are June 20-July 27, Monday (except first week) through Thursday. There will be school Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4.
For the Middle School Summer Program, Justin Q. Dahlquist was hired as staff for mathematics and Timothy N. Haas was hired for reading/language arts.
The staff dates are June 12 for teacher preparation day; June 13- July 20, Monday through Thursday for 3.5 hours per day and the hours are 4.5 hours per day for weeks 1 and 6 at a rate of $24.50 per hour. There will be no workdays on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4.
The student dates are June 13-July 20, Monday (except first week) through Thursday. There will be no school on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4. The costs are as follows, $75 per course for resident students and $100 per course for out-of-district students.
Lisa M. Saby was hired as staff for the High School Online Summer Program. The staff dates are as follows, June 12 is teacher preparation day; June 13-July 20, Monday through Thursday; for 3.5 hours per day and 4.5 hours per day for weeks 1 and 6, at a rate of $24.50 per hour. There will be no workdays on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4.
The student dates are June 13-July 20, Monday (except first week) through Thursday. There will be no school on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4. The cost will be $200 per course for resident students and $225 per course for out-of-district students.
Also approved was approve the enrollment of a non-resident student at the state approved tuition rate for a secondary student for the 2017-18 school year per District Policies numbers 607 and 202. A student was also approved to complete his Eagle Scout Project by building an outdoor patio at the Kutztown Area High School.
In other news, board awarded bids and approved procurements with a 53 percent E-rate reimbursement. Board approved a contract with Chestnut Ridge Communications, Inc. in the amount of $21,423 for fiber cabling. Board also approved several purchases, wireless access equipment from ePlus in the amount of $23,868.04; UPS equipment from Prismworks in the amount of $10,080; switch equipment from Prismworks in the amount of $111,860 and cabling connectors from IntegraOne in the amount of $2,138.00.
Total project cost is $169,369.04, with 53 percent E-rate discount of $88,939.92 for total District cost of $80,429.12.
The next monthly board meeting will be held in the high school library at 7:30 p.m. on April 18.