Northwestern Press

Monday, June 17, 2019

School board discusses the new turf

Friday, April 12, 2019 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

Costs for replacing the turf surface on the athletic fields were discussed by the Northwestern Lehigh School Board during their March meeting.

Turf cost will be $3,055,900.

Turf professionals recommend the field be resurfaced at seven years.

However, Operations Director Arthur Oakes said in this area schools are finding it lasts 10 to 12 years. He said financing can be modified when they know how much usage the turf will be getting.

Though $700,000 was considered for a replacement fund, school board member Alan Rex said they should allocate more. Member Phillip Toll said costs go up about 3 percent a year.

Virgin rubber will be used and not the crumb made from old tires.

Board President Bill Dellicker said the turf will provide a facility that can stand more use with more opportunities for students providing well-rounded athletes.

They will have to show respect for the turf and not use the same area constantly which would wear it out in certain places. He added that students should stand with hands on hearts during the 1 minute 20 seconds playing of the national anthem.

The grass will continue to be maintained for other sports.

Activities Director Jason Zimmerman thanked the board for its time and for voting for the turf. He said they should have no concern about it being cared for. Students are looking forward to it with excitement, he said.

In other matters, due to snow, the February Northwestern Lehigh School Board meeting was canceled and votes for that day were included at the March meeting.

A middle school achievement presentation was given by Principal Bill Dovico and Assistant Principal Amy Stauffenberg.

Director of Curriculum and Technology LeAnn Stitzel reported curriculum information is decided by the staff when they discuss what works and what does not.

The first reading of 21 documents is on the district website will remain posted for a minimum of 30 days. Included is a counseling plan required for the commonwealth’s Chapter 339 Plan.

A first reading of a special education plan for July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2022, is on the website for the 28 days before approval.

This plan has to tell where special education classrooms are, and where the support groups meet.

The plan, must be renewed every three years, also gives information on how students requiring special education are identified.

Approval was given for the 2019-20 calendar school year. This is planned to be the same as the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute’s calendar as nearly possible.

Bids were approved for a water storage tank replacement, $248,499; high school sanitary and stormwater pipe replacement, $169,700; and an infrastructure bid connected with the new phone and electrical systems, $566,752.

Budgets were presented and approved for partner schools.

These included Lehigh Carbon Community College, 114 Northwestern students, $240,000, at a cost of $2,100 each; Lehigh Career and Technical Institute, 128 Northwestern students, $1 million at $6,033 per student; charter school, 106 students, $2 million at $18,867 per student; and Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit, 18 full-time students at $41,000.

Charter school costs increased by $710,000 this year.

A 12-year sports medicine agreement was approved with Lehigh Valley Health Network with an automatic three-year extension.

Forty-two students are enrolled in the Behind-the-Wheel driver training course and 32 use the online course for driver education matching enrollment in 2017-18.

A positive behavior assembly was held March 7 and approved retroactively with DJ Jimbo Entertainment, Trexlertown, at a cost of $250. Also retroactive paid from the student activities fund is Imagi Nation, Allentown, for Weisenberg Elementary for a second grade field trip at a cost of $656.70.

The school is purchasing three new buses and has applied for a voucher at $40,000 per bus for a new, cleaner diesel engine with destruction of the 2009 or older diesel engine.

Vendor Brightbill will pay the cleaner diesel Driver PA Forward consultation costs needed for the voucher application.

Approval was given for graduation to be at Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena at a cost of $7,475.19 on June 1.

A Foreign Language and International Cultures Club trip to Ireland, Cumbria and Scotland June 17-28 is planned. The 13 attendees will cover costs. Eight are students.

A $50,000 grant has been applied for from USA Football to go toward installation of the turf field.

Donations of a piano from Jesse Orthman to Weisenberg Elementary and a pingpong table from Denise Oxford to the middle school were accepted.