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Asbestos find may
delay renovation work
By Logann Baylor, INTERN

MILLERSBURG • School board members are surprised – and more than a little unhappy – with news that asbestos was discovered during building and renovation work on the secondary campus recently.

The discovery could affect the time for the building project, which began in earnest in early June.

At the board’s June 22 meeting, Project Manager Craig Zimmerman, along with another engineering contract representative from Crabtree Rohrbaugh Associates, reported that  the asbestos was found while workers were involved in removing ceilings in the high school.

The asbestos is not in powder form, but instead is contained within a woven cloth material off of the air duct in a space located between the vent and duct collar connector.

The news sparked shock and outrage from the board – not necessarily towards the contracting company but towards the fact that they believed the school was operating under the classification of “asbestos-free.”

It was stated at the meeting that a certified asbestos inspector is to perform a check-up every three years. However, the last inspection of this kind was performed during the 1994-95 school year, two decades ago.

Many board members voiced questions and concerns in a state of disbelief that the reports – along with the discovery of the asbestos material – could have gone unnoticed for more than 20 years.

An asbestos specialist contractor has been called to inspect the issue at hand as well as to look for the presence of asbestos elsewhere. The inspector’s visit is free of charge, but the total cost for removal remains unknown until more information is gathered on the extent of asbestos in the school building.

The time it will take to remove any confirmed asbestos remains uncertain. Until it is removed, work has been suspended on any section of the ventilation containing or surrounding the asbestos area.

With this discovery, it is unsure if – or how long – the total renovation project will be delayed.

Budget approved. Also June 22, the board approved its final operating budget of $14,416,916 in anticipated revenues and expenses for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

In separate action, the board also approved to enact a  property tax rate of 18.9898 mills – an increase of .4631 mills – which falls within Millersburg’s state-mandated index of 2.5 percent. The new millage rate is expected to produce $4,807,610 in revenue.

The approved tax levy also included a one percent tax of the earned income and one percent real estate transfer tax – which are expected to produce $590,000 and $55,000 respectively.

Action taken on Lenkerville project. Zimmerman also provided the board with several proposals, recommendations and change orders involving the security and electrical upgrades to the Lenkerville Elementary School.

There had been discussion in May about restoring 36 old light fixtures in hopes of saving the district some money. Upon further investigation, the long term benefits of purchasing new fixtures proved to outweighed the anticipated savings. The board agreed, voting 8-1 to approve the purchase of new fixtures at a cost of $7,056.

Also discussed was the deletion of a DVR recorder at the front entrance of the school.  When visitors reach the entrance, they must press a button, buzzing them into the office. A recorder attachment to the already existing camera, would allow video feed to be stored for an extended period of time. The board voted 8-1 to keep the recorder on the project plan.

The replacement of the master clock was also up for debate. The board took action, voting 9-0, to approve the replacement at a cost of $2,900.

Personnel. The board, June 22, took the following personnel action:

• Daniel Troutman was employed as Assistant Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at a remuneration of $55,000 with a 90-day probationary period at an hourly rate based on the aforementioned salary.

• Resignations were accepted from Brent Hoover, assistant track coach and Larry Loncar, assistant boys’ soccer coach.

• Retirement was accepted from Pamela Rudy, a teacher at Lenkerville Elementary School for 35 years.

• Cheryl Miller, currently a high school reading specialist and elementary gifted teacher, will be reassigned to Lenkerville Elementary to replace Rudy as a fifth- grade teacher. Miller is certified in Elementary K-6.

• Natalie Latshaw was appointed to provide ESY  (Extended School Year) hours for eligible Millersburg and consortium students beginning July 1 through August 15 of this year at a rate of $15 per hour.

• Rebecca Riland was appointed as co-assistant athletic director for the 2015-16 school year at a remuneration of $1,173 to be amended upon resolution of the teachers’ contract.

• Tammy Schade was appointed co-assistant athletic director for the 2015-16 school year at a remuneration of $880 to be amended upon resolution of the teachers’ contract.

• Michael Witman was appointed as summer and winter weight room trainer for the 2015-16 school year  at a remuneration of $582 to be amended upon resolution of the teachers’ contract.

• Corey Keim was appointed as fall weight room trainer for the 2015-16 school year at a remuneration of $739 to be amended upon resolution of the teachers’ contract.

Contracts. The board, June 22, took action to extend a contract with Central PA Rehabilitation Services, Inc. for an additional three years through the 2019-20 school year.

Permission also was given to enter into a contract with Direct Energy at the rate of 4.970 cents per kwh for a period of 36 months effective July 2015 through June 2018.

Curriculum. The board voted 8-1 to approve the following curriculum actions:

• The text, Discovering World Geography, was adopted for use in secondary social studies courses.

• The novels; The One and Only Ivan, Stuart Goes to School, The Clue of the Left Handed Envelope  and Because of Winn Dixie  were added to the approved reading list for use in the Lenkerville Elementary School.

Next meeting.  The board will not meet in July. Meetings will resume in August.


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