Northwestern Press

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Objections raised to new lighting in Northwestern Middle School gym

Thursday, June 27, 2019 by Elsa Kerschner ekerschner@tnonline.com in Local News

The Northwestern Lehigh School Board directors approved an agreement, during their June 19 meeting, with SSM Group to develop bid specifications and to provide oversight to the middle school gym and auxiliary gym floor.

Approval was given by the board to bid the project. Work was approved to replace flooring and associated equipment through the Keystone Purchasing Network and/or COSTARS, a state associated organization.

The total amount is estimated at $506,000.

Board member Phil Toll objected to replacing the lights that are only 4 years old, with a replacement cost of $70,000.

He said taxpayers need to believe the district is acting responsibly.

The new lights would be LED, Superintendent Jennifer Holman replied.

They would be among the items that need to be finished before the floor can be done. All work except the floor is expected to be finished by the new school year.

“If we install something, will it need to be done every four years?” Board member Todd Hernandez asked.

Joe Fatzinger also objected to the four-year replacement.

Board President Bill Dellicker said the lighting could be taken out of the bid package.

With that condition, the work was approved to bid.

New phone equipment will be ordered through Dauphin Data Inc. with a COSTARS purchasing contract.

The phone system will cost $155,286 for equipment and a five-year service plan. Installation and switches will add $38,900 to the cost.

Director of Activities Jason Zimmerman said people want to know as soon as possible how the concessions are to be handled for the coming year.

He said inventory is the hardest part to plan for because of lack of space.

Booster clubs should manage the concessions when their team is playing rather than the district handling it all year.

He said some of the booster clubs only have 1 to 3 people willing to volunteer. Zimmerman could not staff it for the entire year.

All profits go to the sports programs.

Holman suggested giving the boosters a flat amount for Tiger Concessions.

The solicitor will lay out a plan and come back in August.

The budget received final approval. Expenditures are $46,657,952. Local taxes are real estate, 16.6138 mills, which includes a 0.3735 increase.

Other levies are earned income tax at 0.5 percent, real estate transfer tax at 0.5 percent for each of the four townships and a $10 local services tax.

Insurance coverage through Ironshore has been expanded in the amount of $17,520 to cover pollution.

A Safe Schools equipment grant will be applied for. This has a maximum of $25,000.

Northern Valley EMS will receive $100 for each football game attended.

Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 will serve as a conduit for Overdrive School Download Library in the amount of $2,000.

Discovery Education Streaming Digital Video Library will provide its services for a year at $1,973.

The Education Foundation is sponsoring a golf tournament Aug. 9 at Old Homestead. Registration is available on the website.

Zimmerman was asked about progress on the turf field. He said the underground drainage was being worked on and it was on schedule.

Food Service Director Andrea Madochick said the Rotary’s Snack Pack program provided food for students to cover weekends.

From October to the end of the year 2,829 packs were provided. Food was distributed in the guidance offices on Fridays.

Eight community members and eight from the food pantry are usually on hand to help pack food.