Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Board approves two proposals related to renovations

by on October 11, 2013 11:00 AM

ARMAGH — The United School District Board of Directors approved two proposals Tuesday related to the district’s planned high school renovation project.

Board members accepted a portion of a proposal from AGX Inc., of Wexford, to include an asbestos pre-design building survey of the high school at $3,550 and to provide asbestos abatement specifications and drawings for the proposed renovation project at $3,000, with any additional work to be charged at rates set forth in the additional rate schedule attached to the proposal.

They also approved a proposal from McIlvried, DiDiano and Mox LLC, of Pittsburgh, to provide survey services not to exceed $5,700. Board President Don Davis said the survey is “a technicality so we don’t build anything on someone else’s property.”

Additionally, the board accepted a separate proposal from AGX to provide a three-year reinspection and management plan update for the junior/senior and elementary schools and to prepare a report summarizing the findings at $750.

Any additional work required as a result of the inspection will be charged to the district.

The project, for which bid documents are expected to be completed in December so bidding can begin in January, is part of an $11.3 million improvement project that was recently completed at the elementary school. It will include repairing and relocating the district’s administration offices, the high school offices and the library in an effort to improve security at the high school by having two secure entrances to the school, compared to the current main entrance, which is fairly open.

The renovations aren’t anticipated to be completed until Oct. 31, 2014.

In other matters Tuesday, the board:

• Accepted, with regret, the retirement of learning support teacher Marilyn Nesmith, who served the district for 16 years.

• Approved and entered into a written contract with Gerald Kalinyak for the position of finance director, effective Aug. 19 of this year. The contract is for five years with a starting salary of $89,000 and a 3 percent raise based on satisfactory performance ratings by the superintendent and the board, Davis said.

• Adopted a resolution appointing Kalinyak, the business office secretary and the secretary to Kalinyak as authorized representatives of the district to make requests upon and receive any and all tax information and records from Berkheimer tax administration services relative to the collection of taxes for the district, and authorizing Berkheimer to provide or transmit the tax information to those appointed, as well as holding the agency harmless and absolve it from any and all liability in connection with the release of that information to the district’s authorized representative.

• Accepted the 2013-14 Supplemental CTE (Career and Technical Education) Grant for $15,143.14. The state grant is for vo-ag classes and various equipment that can be used for “United-based career technical education,” Davis said.

Agricultural instructor Kristie Good will be purchasing a tungsten inert gas welder with some of the funds, Superintendent Barbara Parkins said.

• Approved the changes to the Education Names and Addresses for the elementary school to offer Pre-K Counts, which it had not offered previously, and grades K-6 and for the junior/senior high school to offer grades 7-12. Parkins said the high school had been listed as 7-12 and ungraded — a way of organizing schools that uses individual student progress, rather than age or grade level, to determine when students move from one stage of schooling another — but “ungraded” is no longer allowed to be used. She said she believes the high school was listed as ungraded for some students that were over 18 who had 12th grade more than one year, mainly special needs students.

• Approved an agreement with DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) Data System to access its Web-based benchmark and progress monitoring reporting platform at $1 per student per year.

• Accepted a change order from Mid-State Construction Inc. for a credit of $14,985 for the elementary gym floor replacement renovation project, due to coming in under budget.

• Approved a letter of agreement between the district and Meadows Psychiatric Center/Universal Community Behavior Health to provide educational services for a student at $30 per hour.

• Appointed Vicki Stelma, Ellen Plowman and Patricia Sexton as homebound instructors for so long as such services are required during the 2013-14 school year at $36 per hour.

• Approved and entered into a one-year planned equipment maintenance agreement with Cummins Bridgeway LLC of New Hudson, Mich., at $1,641.19 for the generators at the elementary, high school and football stadium.

• Accepted and approved proposals from Eastern Elevator Service and Sales Company for repairs service upon request at the elementary and high schools at a labor rate of $148 per hour for one man and a labor rate of $250 per hour for team labor, provided all work is performed during the elevators’ normal working hours and days.

• Hired Becca Shaffer as a long-term substitute to fill the temporary vacancy in the position held by first-grade teacher Erin Staruch, who is on an approved leave of absence without pay.

• Approved Bailey Fulkroad as a music K-12 substitute and Becca Shaffer as an elementary K-6 and special education N-12 substitute.

• Accepted the donation of the book “Easy Money: By Alaska’s First Mail-Lady” to the high school library, in memory of Shirley “Memaw” Hill,a rural mail carrier, from her grandchildren.

• Approved the donation of student dictionaries, one for each child in third grade, from the Indiana Rotary Club.

• Approved an activity request from math and computer science teacher Michael Lee to attend the Pittsburgh FRC Regional Robotics Competition from March 26-29, 2014, in Pittsburgh, at no cost to the district. Twenty students will attend.

• Approved requests from Thomas Whitcomb to attend the state cross country meet on Nov. 1-2 in Hershey at a cost of $1,205 for all the registrations and costs involved in the trip, including lodging and meals, and from Kathleen Whitcomb to attend the same meet at a cost of $85 for substitute costs. The number of students are not yet available.

• Approved a one-year cooperative agreement between the district and the Altoona Mountain Ice Hockey Association, and eligible United junior high students, allowing them to participate in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League’s Open Division for the 2013-14 school year. Davis said so far there is one student, and if more are interested in joining, they can.

Heather Carlson is the wire editor and an assistant web editor for The Indiana Gazette. She covers courts, Saltsburg and Homer City borough councils and Penns Manor and United school districts, in addition to writing feature articles. She can be reached at
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