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Indiana Area board rescinds Horace Mann roof motion

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By Jared Stout
Friday, July 15, 2011

The Indiana Area School Board has rescinded a motion asking an Ohio company to design repairs for the Horace Mann Elementary School roof.

On Monday, the board rescinded the original Feb. 14 motion that asked Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, of Cleveland, to first complete a study of the school's wooden portion of the roof and then design repairs for a possible upgrade.

School directors had passed the original motion when they were still considering upgrades to several buildings after the completion of a district-wide facilities study. Horace Mann was also talked about as a candidate for closure.

Directors have backed off on any major projects since four incumbents were defeated by challengers in the May primary election.

The district had been slated to pay up to $22,700 to WJE for designing the roof upgrades. The company's report on the roof was already submitted to the board in April. The report stated it would likely cost the district between $100,000 and $230,000 to make recommended structural repairs to the roof, but also said there was no immediate danger to students in the building.

"We just decided to hold it off until (the next board) starts looking at all the elementary buildings," said board member Doug Steve.

In other matters, the board approved the transfer of Marilyn Walther from the junior high assistant principal position to the principal post at Ben Franklin Elementary School. The board also approved a $2,250 increase to her 2011-12 salary as a result of the transfer.

Walther's transfer is part of some administrative reshuffling that has allowed the district to eliminate one administrator position after the resignation of junior high principal Chris Stultz at the end of last school year.

Stultz has been replaced by Jill Earman, who has served previously as the district's curriculum coordinator. On Monday, the board approved a compensation payment of $7,500 for Earman while she is serving as the principal.

The junior high principal position will remain vacant, but former Ben Franklin Principal Michael Minnick will serve as the sixth-grade principal at the junior high.

In 2011-12, sixth grade is moving from the elementary level to the junior high while ninth grade is moving up to the senior high.

Also Monday, the board accepted the bid from Denver Equipment Co. to replace two serving lines and install another serving line at the senior high cafeteria for a total amount of $146,163.45.

School officials are expecting the new serving lines will help increase efficiency and encourage more students to purchase the school lunch.

In another cafeteria matter, the board increased the price for adult breakfast prices by 10 cents in order to stay within federal guidelines.

The National School Lunch Program requires at least a 36-cent differential between student and adult breakfast prices. The board had previously approved breakfast prices with a 35-cent differential at $1.60 for adults and $1.25 for secondary students.

The new price for adult breakfast will be $1.70 beginning next school year.

Five new teachers were hired by the board Monday: Genna Chilson, family and consumer science, $58,635; Amanda McAnulty, Spanish, $63,038; Sarah Kovach, special education; Claire Greenhill, special education $60,217; Kayla Taylor, German, $58,635.

The board also:

• Added a ticket seller and ticket collector to the event staff for soccer (evenings and Saturdays only), volleyball and junior high football (evenings only) at pay rates of $30 and $27, respectively, for each position. Volleyball will have two ticket collectors.

• Approved a contract with the Center for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine (COSM) for physician services for the 2011-12 school year at a cost of $5,000.

• Granted a leave of absence to custodian Beverly Fedder until May 31, 2012.

• Approved an affiliation agreement with Indiana University of Pennsylvania for pre-clinical practicum and student teaching experiences.

While there is not a special meeting scheduled for July, the board is expected to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday night to hire a senior high principal.

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