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Vandergrift Elementary will close for renovations

| Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7:22 a.m.

Vandergrift Elementary School is expected to be closed in the 2013-14 school year while construction is under way.

The Kiski Area School Board on Monday approved advertising for construction bids for work at the school, which is part of the district's $30 million elementary schools project.

Work at Vandergrift is anticipated to begin immediately after students leave school at the end of this school year in June, Superintendent John Meighan said.

Work will include remodeling and renovations, a reconfiguration of the school's auditorium and cafeteria area, and a kitchen expansion.

One classroom will be added for kindergarten.

Security improvements will be made to the school's entrance, Meighan said.

The work is expected to take 10 months to finish.

While construction is taking place, the schools' kindergarten through fourth-grade students will be taught at Washington Elementary School, Meighan said.

Vandergrift's fifth- and sixth-graders will attend the district's new upper elementary school, now under construction at the former North Washington Elementary School.

The board approved about $16,000 in additional costs for the upper elementary school. Most of that, nearly $11,400, was for security-related hardware changes at the building's doors.

Board member Robert Keibler said the cost was originally almost $40,000, but was negotiated down.

Washington Elementary and Bell-Avon Elementary schools are slated close at the end of this school year. Laurel Point will remain open for 2013-14 as a school for kindergarten through fourth grade.

In response to a question, Meighan reiterated administrators' decision that elementary students will be required to attend the elementary school in whose attendance area they live. The district will not accept transfer requests.

Coaching changes

• The board announced several coaching changes:

The board accepted the resignations of Harry Rideout Jr. as head boys' varsity basketball coach and Ellen Toy as girls' junior high head volleyball coach.

Maggie Jones was named to replace Toy and will be paid $3,785. Jones resigned as girls' junior high head softball coach.

Ann Eichner was named girls' junior high head softball coach and will be paid $2,765.

Officials: 4th-grader had small knife

• A fourth-grader at Vandergrift Elementary School was suspended pending a hearing before administrators after he was found with a small knife in school Thursday morning.

Another student saw the knife sticking out of the boy's book bag and reported it, Meighan said. It happened at the start of the day, and was found before the boy sat down for breakfast.

The student was taken to the school office and the knife was confiscated.

No students were hurt or in any danger, Meighan said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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