Indiana, PA - Indiana County

PENNS MANOR: Board gets update on project

by JULIE E. MARTIN on September 15, 2013 1:50 AM

KENWOOD — Penns Manor Area School District is getting closer to having natural gas service. And while the district is not as close as officials had initially hoped to be at this time, they now have an idea when construction will begin.

Superintendent Thomas Kakabar gave an update at Thursday’s school board meeting on the progress of the project that will bring gas heat to the school district’s buildings.

At a March meeting, he had reported that the project would be delayed by probably one year.

He reported Thursday that construction would likely start in the spring with anticipation of having gas heat in time for next school year.

Construction, which is being handled by Columbia Gas, will extend about one mile of gas line from near Clymer to the districts’ buildings and make any needed changes to the heating system’s infrastructure.

In addition to providing gas heat to Penns Manor buildings, the system will also offer some residents who live along the line with natural gas access.

School officials began investigating alternatives to oil heat a couple of years ago.

Developments which Kakabar described as related to plans and procedure, including the transfer of the endeavor to Columbia Gas’s large project team, created a change in the timeline.

The project, which officials expect to cost more than $300,000, stands to save the district up to $175,000 per year over the costs of oil heat.

Other alternatives to the oil heat system, like a biofuel heating system in the $1.4 million to $1.6 million range, were also investigated when district officials began to investigate their options, he said.

After a project pay off period of several years, Kakabar said, officials hope the district will recoup the costs in savings.

Those at Columbia Gas expect to have final budget numbers and a project start date to district officials by the end of October, he said.

School board members also:

• Hired Anita Small as a long-term substitute to fill a temporary vacancy at $85 per day for the first 20 consecutive days, then at a daily rate of $135. Small will work until a new employee, Terri Myers, is released from her position with the United School District.

• Hired Julie Ludwig to fill a temporary vacancy left by the approved leave of absence of Michelle Dolges. Ludwig will be paid $85 per day the first 20 consecutive days, then at a daily rate of $135. The assignment will not exceed 90 days in length.

• Hired Sarah Allman as assistant girls’ volleyball coach and Rebecca Bowser as girls’ assistant junior high basketball coach, pending clearances and concussion testing. Both will be paid $2,663.32 per the district’s current expired bargaining agreement.

• Accepted the resignation of Jason Miloser as girls’ junior high assistant basketball coach.

• Approved attendance at a number of workshops and field trips with cost of attendance ranging from $17,512 for a school year long workshop reimbursable with funds for special education to $135 for introductory workshops at ARIN Intermediate Unit.

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