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McKeesport Area school board moving forward with new schools

Several more actions related to planned new construction have been taken by McKeesport Area School District's board of directors.

The board voted Wednesday night to send PlanCon A and B, the first two segments of a construction plan, to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for a new Cornell elementary-intermediate complex.

Similar documents were sent previously to PDE for new school complexes on the Palkowitz property near the high school and for an elementary addition to Francis McClure Intermediate School in White Oak.

The board also authorized Solicitor Gary Matta to advertise a hearing regarding the closing of the present Cornell Intermediate School and to work with the administration on property acquisition at Cornell.

Superintendent Dr. Michael B. Brinkos said the district is exploring the need to purchase adjacent properties along Bailie Avenue.

The board authorized Business Manager David Seropian, who was absent from Wednesday's meeting, to submit applications for Qualified School Construction Bonds, low-interest bonds that would be subsidized with federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The board also authorized the district administration to seek a mandate waiver from PDE that would allow the district to seek a single prime bid for the three school complexes. Brinkos said that would give the district an option to explore as it plans for three construction projects.

In the only contract award dealing with the projects Wednesday, the board accepted Dillan Well Drilling Inc.'s offer to conduct geothermal testing at the three sites for $25,961.

In other business, the board approved a name change for the Alternative Education Program in the old administration building along E. Fifth Avenue. It now will be known as the East End Academy.

It approved the Extended School Year program for qualifying special education students from June 28 through July 29, operating Monday through Thursday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

It approved Tiger Pride Academy and YI Stay Summer Camps from June 21 to July 16, the YI Stay camps pending grant approval.

The board approved a proposed Allegheny Intermediate Unit Program of Services Budget for 2010-11. It also approved a participation agreement between the district and Long Run Children's Learning Center.

It approved a change in the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment testing schedule. At the recommendation of Founders' Hall Middle School Principal Harry Bauman, tests that were to begin April 12 will begin instead on April 7.

The board accepted a proposal from Point Click Learn for the A-plus Software upgrade in the amount of $35,310.

It authorized $4,000 in funding for chaperones and security for the high school prom, scheduled this spring on May 20. A formal dance at the Sheraton Station Square will be followed by an after-prom on the Gateway Clipper Majestic.

The board accepted Nutrition Inc.'s proposal for food service management in the coming school year.

The district said the total cost of each meal provided by the West Newton-based firm will be $1.4419. Students will pay 65 cents for breakfast in all schools, with elementary students paying $1.05 and secondary students $1.15 for lunch.

The board authorized Seropian to advertise for bids for a security camera system with wiring and installation.

The board also approved Standards for Effective School Governance and a Code of Conduct as recommended by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

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