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No asbestos on former Junior High West grounds

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By Rachel Basinger
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 7:33 p.m.

There is no sign of asbestos on the grounds of the former Connellsville Junior High West, now known as West Crawford Elementary School. The board approved the new name on Wednesday.

Also, Mike Omatick, buildings and grounds supervisor for the Connellsville Area School District, said that the district hired an independent contractor, Volz Environmental, to do core sampling at the site.

Director Kevin Lape said that when the issue was brought to the attention of board members, they felt it necessary to hire an independent contractor to do the samples.

Omatick said because of the concerns that asbestos and other building materials were buried on the site during renovations over the years, nine core samples, three in the proposed playground area and six in the field area, were taken that ranged from 12 to 36 inches.

“We got the report back from the lab a few days ago and there was no asbestos found in any of the samples, and at no time have we ever hit any type of construction debris during any digging out at the site,” he said.

Lape said he believes no one on the board would knowingly put the safety of any child in jeopardy.

“Never would any of these board members turn a blind eye or allow something that would potentially hurt a child in this school district,” he said.

Director Paul Means agreed.

“From the moment this came up to the board as a concern, it was acted on and we are very satisfied with the results,” he said.

Cono Passione with Eckels Construction gave an update on construction at the new elementary school.

The majority of the work on the second floor has been completed, and on the first floor the majority of the bathrooms are roughed in, with the walls framed and the flooring to be addressed shortly.

The playground equipment is on-site and areas where the equipment will be installed are being prepared.

Under athletics, directors approved Dr. Gina Canada as the athletic physician at a cost of $4,800 for the 2013-14 school year; Lyndsey Grinko as a volunteer senior high cheerleading coach; and Dan Bosnic as a senior high co-offensive coordinator at a salary of $3,143.

Under personnel, directors agreed to hire Patrick Maloy as a network administrator at an annual salary of $70,000, effective July 1 or upon release from his present employment.

Directors agreed to hire Leanne Smith and Kelly Krisnosky as speech and language pathologists for the upcoming school year.

Directors approved a school-level plan for Connellsville Area Junior High, Zachariah Connell Elementary School and Dunbar Township Elementary School.

District Superintendent Daniel Lujetic said a school-level plan is required for any school in the district that was in school improvement or corrective action last year. While Dunbar Township met AYP, it has to do it two years in a row before a school-level plan is no longer needed.

The board agreed to participate in a grant agreement with the Benedum Foundation/Intermediate Unit 1 to provide “coaching” to staff members and post-secondary transition support workshop to Connellsville Area Career and Technology Center students at no cost to the district and to approve the 2013-14 College in High School agreement between the district and Mt. Aloysius for AP Chemistry, AP Calculus, Trig/Pre-calculus and AP Physics.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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