KENWOOD — Next year, Penns Manor School District will have another sport on the roster, in a way.
School board members voted Thursday to form a wrestling co-op with Marion Center Area School District, starting with the 2014-15 winter sports season.
The move won’t be complete until Marion Center signs on. After that, the school districts’ agreement will be reviewed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, which has the final say.
School director Randy Thornton voted against the cooperative agreement.
Absent from the meeting were Ronald Beilchick, Jerry Dick and Joette Dudeck.
Thornton explained after the meeting adjourned that he had no problem with wrestling, but was worried if the move would take away from other sports.
“My only concern is that, being such a small school, adding another sport may have an effect on our existing sports teams,” he said.
That shouldn’t be the case, however, according to business manager David Kudlawiec. The impact on other programs would likely be minimal, he said after the meeting, because students in wrestling would likely not be involved in other winter sports, like basketball, since athletes would already have dedicated themselves to one sport or another. Students interested in wrestling, or another sport, he said, decided to pursue it and probably won’t veer off course.
In addition, Kudlawiec said, if there were any financial cost to the district, it would be minimal and related to fees. Students will be responsible for their own transportation and other expenses.
When surveyed, a number of students at the high school expressed interest in being part of a wrestling co-op, according to superintendent Thomas Kakabar. There is also a group of wrestlers at the elementary school.
While Penns Manor has interest but not enough to start a program, school officials said Marion Center has the opposite problem — a program that could use a few more students to round out a team.
“Marion Center has a need, and we have a need,” Kakabar said.
The goal is to get the co-op up and running by next school year.
Students and parents interested in forming a co-op had originally approached Penns Manor early in the school year.
In other business, Kakabar reported that Penns Manor schools would be back in session today.
A glitch in the water system at the high school-elementary complex prompted officials to cancel classes Thursday.
Air in a waterline is apparently what caused the water system to stop working early Thursday morning, according to Kakabar. He was informed of the problem at about 5:30 a.m.
Without knowing how long it might take to fix the problem, Kakabar made the decision to cancel, rather than delay, classes. About 960 students, as well as faculty and staff, had to stay home.
Maintenance workers got the system back up and running by about 9 a.m. Thursday, according to Kakabar.
One of three air pumps in the school’s water system had been replaced Tuesday. Officials believe that may have somehow caused air to get in the line, causing a water pump to back up.
“It looks like everything is in working order, and should be, moving forward,” Kakabar told the school board Thursday evening.
Students will make up the unexpected day off on the first of Penns Manor’s scheduled snow makeup day March 17.