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Armstrong School District expected to adopt budget

| Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, 11:42 a.m.

Armstrong School District is expected to adopt a proposed 2013-14 budget and will consider a resolution permitting East Franklin to encroach upon a few feet of district property for expansion at Armstrong Heritage Park.

Business manager John Zenone said during the board's open caucus on Thursday night that there were no significant changes to ASD's proposed $97 million budget since the directors last met in January. Those numbers, however, are far from fixed.

“What this step does is put us in line with the governor's timeline,” he said.

“But we're still hoping something good will come our way.”

The proposed budget is up $11 million from this year's and currently has a deficit of $5.9 million.

But those projections include the roughly $2 million increase ASD would have to pay toward charter schools if Everlasting Elderton is approved.

The district must make a decision on that charter application by March 12.

As for the East Franklin land being discussed, solicitor Lee Price said the township is looking for about 10 to 15 feet on the edge of the West Hills complex so that restroom and pavilion facilities at Armstrong Heritage Park can be expanded. Price said the exchange wouldn't affect district operations and the property boundaries in that area have moved slightly during the past few years.

In other news:

• The board will vote Monday to enter into a one-year, $90,000 lease with Adelphoi Village allowing the nonprofit treatment facility to use eight classrooms and the gym at the former Elderton Junior-Senior High School. Price said the organization participates in alternative education programs with the district.

• Director Paul Lobby said there are concerns that the proposed name for the district's future high school in Manor—Armstrong Junior-Senior High School—could alienate students at West Shamokin High School in Cowanshannock.

“The name may have some negative effects on West Shamokin High School because of the fact that it is not associated with the name of the district,” said Lobby.

Ford City Principal Michael Cominos, a member of the committee working on the name, mascot and official colors of the new school, said that name was only a suggestion and the board will ultimately have the final say.

“We're trying to avoid any bad feelings from anything that has happened throughout the history of the school district,” said Cominos. “We're really looking for something that represents our community and something everybody can be happy with.”

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or tkaran@tribweb.com.

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