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Franklin Regional officials plan HVAC upgrades to middle school

By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

Franklin Regional officials are preparing to work to begin on a $2.5 million heating, ventilating and air conditioning project at the middle school.

Dennis Majewski, the director of district services, said he anticipates hiring an engineering or architectural firm to design the project by the end of 2012.

The district is considering bids ranging from $139,743 to $200,000 from firms interested in managing and designing the project.

The HVAC system at the middle school was installed in 1969 and includes 19 rooftop units, Majewski said.

The company that designed the system has since gone out of business, and replacement parts are no longer available.

“We're fortunate we've been able to patch and keep it together,” Majewski said. “But we have to do something now.”

Majewski said once a project manager is hired, the project could begin this summer.

Because work can not be done while teachers or students are in the building, there is a 10-week window for construction. Majewski said areas that have the worst problems — such as the library — will be replaced in 2013.

The remaining units will be replaced during the following two summers.

The project will be paid for using the capital reserve fund during the next three school years.

French club wants immersion

A group of French students at the high school might spend three days in Montreal in April.

French teacher Kerri Tonet-Berlin presented the trip to the school board Monday, which would cost students as little as $587 each to attend. Students would miss two days of classes, April 11 and 12, and would be responsible for all costs themselves.

The per-student cost is dependant on the number of students attending the trip, Tonet-Berlin said.

The immersion program would be offered through Visit Canada. It would include several historical tours.

“It was (the students's) idea,” Tonet-Berlin said. “They wanted something a little more affordable for a shorter time period.”

The school board will vote on the trip Nov. 19.


The board will vote on the following personnel moves at its Nov. 19 meeting, including a sabbatical, a resignation and several short-term substitute teachers.

• Bill Essay, sixth-grade teacher, requested a sabbatical leave of absence from Oct. 25 through March 14.

• Camille MacRae, a middle school English teacher, submitted a resignation effective Jan. 19.

• Christi Simplson, a middle school science teacher, requested a child-rearing leave of absence for the second semester.

• The board is asked to approve Samantha Kopa, Rachel Oates and Katherine Risbon as elementary substitute teachers and Brian DeMarino, James Clark, Jason Molitor and John Palaika as secondary substitute teachers.

Long-term subs

The board also will vote on the following long-term substitute teachers:

• Sarah Zontek for elementary art from Nov. 5 through Jan. 17.

• Kate McCullough for high school English from Oct. 26 through Feb. 6.

• Annie Wozniak for sixth grade from Oct. 25 through March 14.

• Ashley Ferraro for high school special education from Feb. 18 through April 15.

• Debra Palla for middle school English for the second semester.

• Michael Molchan for middle school science for the second semester.

• Beth Frydrych as an elementary nurse beginning Oct. 30.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or

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