The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

May 1, 2013

Ground broken for elementary school

JOHNSTOWN — With no speeches or high-profile dignitaries, groundbreaking ceremonies for the $13 million Conemaugh Valley Elementary School highlighted the school’s mission: The students.

Brief ceremonies Wednesday morning included the national anthem

performed by the Conemaugh Valley High School band and chorus, the Pledge of Allegiance led by elementary students and another number by the band.

But the low-key event did not diminish the importance of the new era it will represent for the district’s students, teachers and taxpayers, school board President Mark Vibostok said.

“It is very exciting,” Vibostok said. “It has been a long time in coming. A lot of planning and careful thought went into this.

“It is going to be a nice-looking asset for the community.”

Construction has been underway for about two months on the site of the former East Taylor Elementary School, which was closed in August 2011, school Superintendent Dave Lehman said.

All Conemaugh Valley pupils from prekindergarten through sixth grade are now attending the 40-year-old Conemaugh Township elementary school on Frankstown Road. But that school is facing major repairs and is slated for closure when the new school is completed in time for the 2014-2015 school year.

The new building fits on the same basic footprint as the old East Taylor school, but it will be a two-story structure, Lehman said.

“It’s about 60,000 square feet,” he said.

Located along William Penn Highway on the same East Taylor Township property as the high school, the new elementary school will consolidate all the district’s facilities, Lehman said.

“One campus should be more economical,” Lehman said. “We can share teachers. I think it will be a tremendous learning opportunity.”

The elementary school has been in the works for more than two years, prompted by large cuts in state funding for education.

It is being financed with bonds, with payments coming from revenue generated by 2011’s whopping 26 percent,

12-mill, property tax increase.

Despite the blow, community meetings have produced little negative feedback, Lehman said.

“We are happy with the community’s support,” he said.

“Anytime you put the kids first, it’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

Plans for the existing Frankstown Road school are still being considered, Vibostok said.

The district will probably try to sell the building and part of the property, but will hold on to the section containing several athletic fields that are used in its sports programs.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local briefs 4/20/2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads