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Derry Area School District area trying to make room for equipment

| Friday, Jan. 8, 2010

Derry Area School District has to decide where to put $800,000 worth of fitness equipment it will likely be getting through a fitness education grant.

The school board was given a potential option Thursday by David Welling, district assistant superintendent, and technology education official David Vinopal.

The two presented an electronic, on-screen layout of a proposed 5,000 square-foot fitness center to be located at the district's middle/high school.

In July, the district's physical education department was approved for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program grant, for which Welling and department members from the elementary, middle and high schools previously applied to the federal Department of Education.

The grant money is to be allotted over the next three years pending annual progress review to purchase updated training equipment and educational materials designed to improve student fitness.

The proposed two-level addition would offer more space for the incoming equipment, Welling said. The high school weight room is only 900 square feet and the exercise room is 700 square feet.

"The addition would make a very nice area for students and it would really enhance the physical education program," Welling said.

The board will review Welling's proposal, though no cost estimate has been set, he said.

"If the board decides this would be a good move, the next steps would be to consult an architect regarding a feasibility study," he said.

The board voted yesterday to award a $31,000 contract to Ford City-based Davis Contracting to replace the roof of the high school gymnasium. That money will come from the district's capital improvements fund of about $700,000, said district business manager Joe Koluder.

In other business, the board voted to hire Pittsburgh-based Volz Environmental Services Inc. to provide asbestos-removal detection services in conjunction with the renovations to Grandview Elementary School. The district budgeted $40,000 this year to finance the service, Koluder said.

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