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Belle Vernon Area board tells swim parents' groups to cooperate

| Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The head coach of the Belle Vernon Aquatics club asked the school board why it failed to vote on his request to use the high school pool weekdays throughout the upcoming school year.

Take the time given to his club and get along with an established swimming feeder program, the Belle Vernon Area School Board told Joe Wolski and a group of parents at the directors' meeting Monday.

A request for the aquatics club to use the pool from 5 to 6 p.m. each week day died for a lack of a motion.

Superintendent Dr. John Wilkinson said the district offered the aquatics team 7:30 to 9 p.m. three nights a week. He said it was a matter of logistics and that the swim club was established, having practiced at the pool for 20 years.

Wolski said the swim club won't work with the aquatics team to come to a solution.

“I was at the committee meeting and both sides were there,” director Aaron Bialon said. “It's not the kids, it's the parents who don't get along.

“Time is available, it's just not the time you want.”

In an unrelated athletic matter, the board lowered the price of varsity football game admission, but some directors felt senior citizens should get in for free.

Admission for varsity football was lowered from $7 to $6 at the gate with season tickets averaging $5 for adults.

Bialon suggested the district return to a past practice of letting senior citizens in for free. The price was ultimately set at $2.

Board member Dan Sepesky recommended that varsity football admission be reduced by an additional dollar per ticket.

Director Joe Grata suggested the pricing matter be sent back to the athletic committee. But Wilkinson asked that the board vote on the matter because the district needs to begin selling tickets before the next directors' meeting.

The ticket prices were approved as recommended by the athletic committee. Other than football, no other price changes were made for varsity sports over last school year.

In other news, director Kimberly Ringstad Gray issued a statement attacking negative posts about her on a social media site.

“I am committed to total transparency regarding my district perspectives and right to vote for what I feel is best for the district and the district's future,” Ringstad Gray said in a statement she read at the meeting.

“It has come to my attention that one or more individuals have been using my name on social media sites portraying me in a negative manner and one not consistent with my beliefs. I ask that any and all posts from this individual or individuals immediately stop.”

Ringstad Gray said she has turned the matter over to the state police, calling it a cyber crime. She did not elaborate on what was contained in the posts in question.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or