Penn-Trafford board updated on high school construction
Though school board members got an update behind closed doors on Monday, residents might have to wait until next month to get more details about the upcoming improvements to Penn-Trafford High School.
Board members met with a project architect in an executive session before their board meeting on Monday to receive more information about building construction, board President P. Jay Tray said.
In June, the board unanimously agreed to cap a construction project at $32 million. That figure represents the amount that board members say the district will be able to repay through its existing debt structure over a 12-year period without raising taxes.
Much of the work is expected to improve the building's infrastructure, such as the plumbing, electrical, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and upgrades to the kitchen.
Board members wanted more detail from the architect about how the money will be spent, Tray said after the board meeting on Monday.
“It's all within the original scope,” he said. “It's just more detail.”
Those details might be made public as soon as a meeting in October, board member Toni Ising said.
Though Tray said the board didn't have deliberations about the project, the private session sets a “terrible precedent” for the public's ability to learn about a taxpayer-funded project, said Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.
The concept of an information-gathering meeting as an appropriate exception to the state's Sunshine Act will be debated today, Thursday, before the state Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court will review whether the Commonwealth Court erred last year by finding that a board of supervisors in Berks County did not violate open-meeting rules by having private meetings with representatives of neighboring municipalities, a residents group and a quarry.
The Commonwealth Court held that the meetings were appropriate because they were held “solely for informational purposes.”
Melewsky, who filed a brief supporting a resident who complained about the private meetings, called information-gathering meetings “problematic.”
“It cuts the public out of the process,” she said.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 86711
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Re-enactors to help mark anniversary of Battle of Bushy Run
- Penn-Trafford High School library to be open to start new school year
- Unexpected storm water project to cost Manor $20,000
- Penn-Trafford volunteers welcome waiving of background check fees
- New transformer to be installed at Municipal Park
- Penn Township housing plan gains commissioners’ approval
- A too-busy Jim Morgan resigns from Manor Council