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Connellsville board studies bond refinancing

By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 10:30 p.m.

Connellsville Area School District will save at least $1.5 million by refinancing a bond issue.

Directors Wednesday approved a motion to allow its bond counsel to lock in a new rate at any time, as long as the savings were a minimum of $1.5 million.

Last month, John McShane of the district's financial advisors, Boenning & Scattergood, told board members that rates are so low the district could save just over $1.7 million if directors decided to refinance.

Business Manager Eugene Cunningham said the savings couldn't have come at a better time, with a renovation project of the former Junior High West that is projected to cost between $1.5 million and $2 million.

“Hopefully we'll have enough to cover that project and a few other projects that we want to get done,” he said.

In the official motion, the board authorized the incurrence of nonelectric debt by the issuance of general obligation bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $20 million.

Also Wednesday, the board approved an agreement between Highlands Hospital Center for Autism and the district as well as a linkage agreement between Adelphoi Village Inc. and the district.

As part of athletics, directors approved several overnight wrestling tournaments and filled several supplemental contracts, including hiring Robert Orndorff as the senior high head baseball coach at a salary of $3,844.

Other board business included the approval of attendance to several conferences including one for Eric DiCianna, Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center guidance counselor, to attend the Marine Corps Educator Workshop in South Carolina and for Cunningham to attend the 2013 PASBO Conference in Pittsburgh.

Karen Marko, director of human resources, was approved to attend the Pennsylvania Association of School Personnel and Administrators annual conference in Harrisburg and Superintendent Dan Lujetic was approved to attend the 2012 Standards Aligned System Institute for a seminar on leadership in the times of reform in Hershey.

Directors approved entering into an agreement with St. Vincent College for the College in High School Program as well as concurrent enrollment.

Director Gary Wandel said he hopes students take advantage of the program that allows them to take college courses for college credit at a fraction of the cost.

Kolby Wagner and Jacob Emminger were approved to participate in the STEM Academy.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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