School Board Meeting Highlights
Jim Keiffer, Senior Project Manager at KCBA Architects, reviewed plans for a Schnecksville Elementary renovation which will include new bus loop and parent drop off pathways, site work, replacement of all HVAC aging mechanical systems, and a cosmetic refresh of the interior of the building. The entrance, original to the 1920's, will be razed and a new addition will be built that will include a new STEM Center, Literacy Center, and kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms as well as office space. Phase one will begin this year. It mainly involves refurbishing the interior and replacing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Phase 2 consists of razing and replacing the 1920's section of the building (currently the front entrance of the school) and revising the traffic circulation plan. The total project is estimated to cost $23.2 million. This project will completely bring the building up to accessibility compliance. To solve all of the accessibility issues with the oldest section of the building was cost prohibitive which is why the School Board chose to raze it and build the new addition, which will include more program space than the current building and makes it comparable to other buildings in the District. The plan includes the ability to shuffle students around the building during the renovation without the use or rental of portable classrooms. The plan will be to complete renovations by the fall of 2022 with demolition of the 1920's building to occur in summer 2023. A complete recap of the project,schedule and cost estimate can be found in the attached presentation.
Replacement of Bus Garage at OMS
The plan to rebuild the bus garage that burned down in February 2018 was reviewed in detail. About $1.5 million of the $1.9 million price tag will be paid from insurance reimbursement for the destroyed garage. The new building will include offices for the Transportation Department for those currently housed in the Troxell building. Construction will commence soon and wrap up by early 2021. Review the plan and costs here.
Financial Implications of Projects
John Vignone, Director of Business Administration, stressed how well the Board has planned for capital projects and financial borrowing. He reviewed this chart which includes borrowing plans for the next four years to cover Veterans Memorial Elementary School construction, the Schnecksville Elementary renovation described above and a possible addition to Kratzer Elementary to service the Ridge Farms development that is planned for Walbert and Cedar Crest Blvd. The plan also includes the regular cycle of capital projects/facility maintenance and replacement bus and technology purchases. His presentation illustrates how the District's debt service will decrease over the coming years as some loans are paid off, even in the wake of borrowing for major capital projects highlighted above. Projected annual debt service for 2019 was $16.12 million and will be about $16.1 million for 2020 and 2021 and then fall to $15.6 million in 2022 and $12.6 million in 2023 based on the projects that are in the pipeline under the District's Future Capital Projects Financing Plan.
Community Advisory Council - met Dec. 12 to learn about Parkland food pantry projects. Dr. Minotti led the presentation about various programs that help students in need with food, clothing and school supplies. Other key people invovled include: Brian Barone and Joelle Strahler, Jude Sandt, Lori Seier, Amy Boltz, Joey Lee, Susan Beideman and the presentations focused on OMS, SMS, and PHS Programs.
Foundation: Harlem Wizards raised $10,000 for the Foundation and it was a great night for the community. The MG was raffled off to Anne DiSanto, a local woman. The project raised $26,450.
Patrick Foose and Robert Cohen voted against payments to Cyber Charter Schools.
Carol commented that Census 2020 will be very important. One time every 10 years to get the numbers right. Government funding is based on this.
Ga Young was thanked for her great student representative comprehensive report.
Rich Sniscak congratulated Frank Pearn for his new job as Bethlehem Business Manager. He also congratulated David Hein who was recently nominated VP of the JOC. Jeff Wetherhold was highlighted for 35 years of teaching Physics at PHS. He will be retiring at the end of the school year.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!