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Building projects continue in Southmoreland School District

| Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Southmoreland School District Business Manager Bill Porter said he and Superintendent John Halfhill made a pact several years ago -- the buildings and property of the district would be in tip-top shape before they would retire. With the help of other administrators and school board members, the district continues to upgrade its properties.

The process began with a renovated high school several years ago and then continued with new turf at the stadium field.

From there, just a couple of years ago, the board approved the building of a new middle school and a major renovation of the elementary school.

Just last month the board approved the demolition of the old junior high and plans are in the works to make the area a parking lot for the stadium. District officials are hoping to build a new maintenance building. If all are approved, these last three projects should be complete by the end of the 2010-11 school year — without having to raise taxes or take money from the fund balance.

At the board's recent meeting, members approved a motion to have Taxacher Construction Company replace the roof on the former Ruffsdale Elementary School building at a cost of $139,520.

The board awarded a bid to BCS Construction out of Altoona to paint the interior of Southmoreland Primary Center at a cost of $55,016.

Last year, the roof was replaced on the primary center and other interior renovations were done. The board is looking into the possibility of getting grants to put air conditioning in the building.

In other district business, the board agreed to amend Halfhill's contract to provide the same retirement incentive program that's included in the Southmoreland School District Administrators/Members of Management Team Agreement.

This amendment will not cost the district any additional money for the total actual cost to the district of its new share of medical and hospitalization insurance.

The board agreed to purchase a used trailer for the marching band at a cost of $4,000. The trailer has two years left of a five-year warranty.

Board members hired Shawn Cartwright as a secondary science teacher at the high school and granted tenure to 25 teachers.

The board named Mark Dye as the fifth-grade team leader and approved Todd Bunner, pending receipt of clearances, as a volunteer middle school football coach.

Board members will be interviewing candidates for soccer and tennis coach positions today and Thursday. The board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. July 6.

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