The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

News

January 16, 2013

Westmont school board planning repairs

JOHNSTOWN — Westmont Hilltop school directors agreed unanimously on Monday to advertise for a structural engineer to help find the best solutions for structural problems at its buildings.

Repairs the board wants to make include replacing carpeting at the middle school and elementary school with tile, repairing the facade at the middle school, improving the track at the middle school and painting the exterior of the gymnasium at the middle school.

The board also unanimously approved advertising for a boiler to replace the one at the high school that is 17 years old and is leaking.

The board agreed unanimously to buy new football uniforms at a cost of $14,000 from the low bidder, Sportsman’s in Johnstown’s Hornerstown neighborhood.

The district’s football boosters will pay $2,000 of that cost.

The uniforms are five years old and have reached their life span, board President Diana Schroeder said.

The board unanimously approved the sale of the Stutzman Playground for $350,000 pending the approval of contingencies such as the sale’s being approved by the county court and the buyer’s gaining zoning approval for the planned use of the site.

School districts are not allowed to sell property without getting court approval.

RMB Realty of Somerset is representing the drugstore chain CVS Pharmacy, which wants to place a store at that location. Under terms of the sale, $100,000 of the $350,000 would go toward relocating the playground within tha neighborhood.

The board said that it has entered into formal negotiations with the unions representing its teachers and maintenance and custodial employees. Contracts for both will expire June 30.

The teachers contract had been extended by one year, with the teachers agreeing to a salary freeze for that year.

The board also is negotiating with district administrators, who likewise agreed to a salary freeze during the final year of their contract.

The board hired Education Finances Decisions LLC, of State College, at the fee of $2,000 for the coming year to assist the district in planning the budget. The consultant’s expertise is sought by districts statewide, the board said.

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