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Board eyes roof plan for Frazier school

| Saturday, July 20, 2013, 1:26 a.m.

Eckles Architecture sought approval from the Frazier School Board this week for development of plans to replace a roof on the high school using a similar fee structure the board had previously granted for the work on the planning and construction of the new elementary/middle school.

The district staff had alerted the board to problems with the roof, stating water was seeping around the rubber base as the rubber pulled away from the edges. Repairs to the present roofing are not likely, officials said.

Mark E. Scheller, project architect for Eckles, said plans to determine the best replacement possibilities for the roof would be developed after the firm's staff reviews the structure of the present roof.

Following the inspection, Scheller said the next step would be to develop several proposals for the replacement of the roof.

School director David Simmons asked how long it would be before the roof replacement could be bid.

“It will probably be tied up with the corresponding board meeting, probably a month and a half,” Scheller said. He added his firm understands the need to expedite the work.

Several board members questioned the need to bid the work out. However, the Eckles representatives and Jack Purcell, district solicitor, said any project costing more than $18,900 must be done by a bid.

Vicki Olexa, board secretary, asked what Eckles would be doing on the roofing project that would earn the fee it would charge: $1,890 plus 5.5 percent of the cost of the work.

Scheller said the firm would help the district staff determine the best way to proceed, work up the plans for the replacement, provide estimates to the board of the probable cost of the project and provide the specifications for the bidders.

During the meeting, the board unanimously approved a motion to allow Eckles to proceed.

The board also approved the next step for the construction of the new elementary/middle school building. That step includes submitting the plans with approvals for such items as stormwater drainage and road access. Plans will be sent to the state Department of Education.

Dan Kiefer, director of preconstruction for Massaro CM Services, LLC, the new school's project management firm, reported to the board on changes in the projected cost of construction. He said the estimated cost per square foot had dropped below $200 to about $192 to $193.

He also reported on the schedule for approval of the construction bids, which will be pushed back due to delays in receiving permits. He said bids will not be able to be opened at the Aug. 29 regular meeting. That probably will not take place until September.

Kiefer suggested the legal advertising for the project, which must be placed in three newspapers and is usually very long and costly, be changed to allow a short description with a link to an internet site, which would significantly reduce the cost of the ads.

During this week's meeting, the board heard reports on the special education audit results and the federal programs' audit results. Anne Peters, special education supervisor, said the district had done very well on the special education audit, which is done only every six years because of the necessary detail.

The Frazier program received commendations on several audit results.

Kelli Muic, director of education programs and grants, reported on the federal programs' audit results. The district has had to create parent involvement policies as part of the federal requirements and Muic reported on the progress made.

Dr. David Blozowich, district superintendent, commended Peters and her teachers, as well as the district's regular teaching staff, for their work and the commendations.

Blozowich reported on coming changes, which will grade each of the schools in the state, based on a different system than the AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) system now used by Pennsylvania. It is called the school performance profile. He said the state has filed for a waiver to no longer use AYP. However, that waiver has yet to be granted.

The new system would grade each school on a number of different items, including several different measures of student progress. This would include academic achievement, PSSA scores, advanced placement use and other factors.

Francy Angelo, a district resident, parent and candidate for school board, asked if the Common Core program would be the basis of the new school performance profile program. Angelo said she does not believe Common Core is a system that will benefit students or teachers.

Blozowich said Common Core is part of the PSSA testing and may ultimately be part of the new program.

Angelo asked if the teachers could be disciplined or fired if they did not receive good evaluations because of the performance of their students.

Blozowitch said that the way the system would potentially be structured, the answer at present could be no.

The board also:

• Approved a request by Muic, who is also elementary principal, for the renewal of the Before School Care Program. The program will operate in the morning, beginning at 8:15 a.m. There will be no after-school program because of a lack of interest during the last school year.

• Approved a three-year contract with Redman Photography for school photography.

• Hired Kelli Shimborski as a long-term substitute for seventh-grade mathematics for the 2013-14 school year at a salary of $100 per day with personal day and sick day benefits. The request was made by Mike Turek, middle school principal.

• Accepted the resignation of Tony Battaglini as seventh- and eighth-grade assistant football coach.

• Accepted the audit report issued by the state Auditor General's office for 2009 and 2010.

• Approved a request for the use of facilities by Mike Steebler, head football coach, for the high school stadium on Aug. 10, for a youth football camp.

• Approved field trips for Kennywood Cheerleading Day on Aug. 5 at a cost of $328 and a basketball camp at California University of Pennsylvania at no cost to the district.

Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at kpolacek@tribweb.com or 724-626-3538.

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