The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

May 22, 2014

Lewisburg board mulls contract, school design issues

LEWISBURG — A contract with Lewisburg Area School District support staff and design decisions for the new high school were among business at Thursday night’s board meeting.

The district will craft a memorandum of agreement for the support staff, who are members of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, giving them until July 1 to agree to a contract or their health insurance automatically will switch to the new Capital Blue Cross Health plan, which has a higher deductible.

The board voted 7-0 to authorize President Kathy Swope to sign the memorandum after the district solicitor prepares and approves it. The memo should be ready for the next board meeting on June 12.

The board also decided to put “add alternative” options on a fly loft system and a recessed orchestra pit for the auditorium of the new high school, pieces that would cost a combined $300,000 or more.

The fly loft system would pull set backgrounds up into the rafters instead of pushing them to either side of stage, and it would cost about $210,000.

The recessed orchestra pit would keep the music section below the stage and could run $100,000 to $115,000, said Chris Barnett, project manager with Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, the project’s architect.

Making these “add alternatives” means asking contractors who bid on the project how much it would cost for the components. The district then would decide whether to include them, Barnett said.

It’s possible the Green Dragon Foundation may raise funds, or at least contributions, for the components, Superintendent Mark DiRocco said.

The school board agreed to have a dividing partition in the gymnasium to separate it in the event of indoor practices. Protective netting or some other means will be considered for sports such as baseball when teams practice indoors.

Also at the meeting:

The board approved a contract with Keystone C.O.R.E. Services, a nonprofit group from Harrisburg, to work with the high school repurposing committee on options for the old location.

The members recognized three retiring employees: Linda Dershem, a custodian at Kelly Elementary for 12 years; Roberta “Robbie” Putterman, a special education teacher for 10 years; and Faye Stein, the district English as a second language teacher for 27 years.

The board recognized the high school WVIA Scholastic Scrimmage team, six seniors who took first place in the competition this year and brought back a $5,000 check for the district from Chesapeake Energy.

The directors observed a moment of silence in memory of Harry Carlip, a former school board member and Lewisburg resident who was found murdered with his fiancee in Florida last week.

Members Myrna Perkins and Fred Scheller were absent.

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