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HOMER-CENTER: Facility upgrades OK'd by board

by on March 22, 2014 10:55 AM

Improvements in athletic facilities at the Homer-Center School District will continue in the coming months, with the elementary school gym now earmarked for work along with Memorial Field, the district’s football field.

The Homer-Center board of school directors on Thursday approved the purchase and installation of new goal posts at Memorial Field by Sports and Recreation Associated at a cost of $7,300 on a vote of 6 to 1.

Board President Vicki Smith voted against the expense; board members Gerald Bertig, Michael Bertig, Dan Fabin, Fred Hayes, James McLoughlin and Julie Rado were in favor. Directors Joy Sasala and Sherri Williams were absent.

“That’s a lot of money,” Smith said. “I believe it’s not necessary.”

Superintendent Charles Koren and Gerald Bertig said the homemade goal posts, consisting of welded pipes and angle iron, are worn and rusty.

“They pose a safety hazard,” said Bertig, chairman of the building and grounds committee, which recommended the replacement. “And waiting until later would add to the cost.”

Koren said the goal post replacement was part of a project approved by the board in April, and the price would be included in the maximum of $54,000 to be spent for installation of handicapped-access features on the home side bleachers and improvements to the goal posts.

The board also approved the relocation of basketball backboards in the elementary school by Sports and Recreation Associates at a cost of $2,715, on a vote of 5 to 2. Smith and Fabin voted against it; Smith said the work would conflict with the students’ recreation schedule.

In other business at the board’s regular monthly business meeting, the directors:

• Retained attorney Daniel Cooper, of Pittsburgh, as district solicitor at a fee of $80 an hour.

• Authorized the administration to begin negotiation for an extension of the transportation contract with Smith Bus Company for one year from expiration of the current agreement on June 30.

• Approved a draft of revisions to the district’s special education plan, which will be available for public review for 28 days.

• Learned that two new textbooks recommended for approval will first be available for public review and comment for 30 days: “Biology,” by Miller & Levine Biology, for the ninth-grade Biology I class, and “Algebra 1 2012 Common Core,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the Algebra 1 and Algebra Remediation classes.

• Approved the 2014-15 general operating budget of $3 million for Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit 28, including the district’s share of $27,629.

• Approved a change order on a security enhancement project designed by HHSDR architects and installed by Johnson Controls, to add a card reader and related hardware and wiring to the door at the main office at an additional cost of $1,376.

• Approved an agreement for telephone service for 2014-15 at a cost of $400 a month from Consolidated Communications through the E-rate program

• Approved the 2012-13 audit report prepared by McCrory & McCrory accountants.

• Approved Christine Carlson as junior high volleyball assistant coach for the current season at a supplemental salary of $1,343.

• Approved Sarah Fyock as the homecoming coordinator for the 2014-15 school year at a supplemental salary of $248.

• Approved family medical leave for elementary teacher Erin Hildebrand, beginning on an unspecified date, and unpaid medical leave for instructional aide Heather Greene for four to six weeks, retroactive to March 4.

• Granted four requests for staff travel to conferences and seven requests for student field trips. The only out-of-state travel would be by high school teacher Christine Yurky and students participating in the History Bee and History Bowl National Championships on April 25-27 in Washington, D.C, at a cost to the district of $2,007.44 and a substitute for one day.

• Granted three requests for use of buildings and grounds.

Homer City United Methodist Church will use the high school auditorium from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. May 16 for a concert by the Ball Brothers for a fee of $138 for rent and custodial work.

Homer-Center Parks and Recreation will use the high school gym and cafeteria from noon to 8 p.m. May 3 for alumni basketball games at a cost of $80 for custodial work.

And the Evergreen Boys and Girls Club will use the elementary school large group instruction room, cafeteria, gym and Room 302 for the annual summer program, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily June 9 to 27 and July 7 to 25. The district will waive the fees.

Chauncey Ross is the Gazette’s fixture at Indiana Area and Homer-Center school board meetings, has been seen with pen and notepad in area police stations and courts, and is something of an Open Records Act and Sunshine Law advocate. He also manages the Gazette’s websites and answers your questions about them.
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