New school lobby nearly complete in Jersey Shore

JERSEY SHORE – As work continues to progress at the Jersey Shore Area Elementary School, the Jersey Shore Area School Board heard an update at Monday’s board meeting on the construction project.

Dan Cicala, of Fidevia, told the board that the school’s new main entrance was turned over to the district at the beginning of the year, which he called “significant” for the project’s overall completion.

Ken Berkich, construction manager, noted that along with the new main entrance, a new lobby is nearly complete. The school’s new gymnasium should be complete in the next few weeks, “if things go well,” Berkich said. Work is continuing in part of school, which is sealed off with a wooden and plastic partition wall to ensure dust or other materials doesn’t enter the section occupied by students and staff. An addition that will house kindergarten classrooms also needs to be completed.

The district announced that it will host an open house event to allow the public to tour and see the progress of the project so far. It will take place before the board’s Jan. 27 meeting.

In other business, Dr. Jeannette Carter, of the Pennsylvania College of Technology, presented a plan to allow students enrolled in Penn College NOW, the college’s dual enrollment program, to earn college credit for no cost while attending high school.

Jersey Shore has been in the program since its inception in 2005, Carter reported. In the fall, Jersey Shore students earned 301 college credits, which cost students about $15,000 – the value of those credits is nearly $150,000.

Carter explained that under a new funding model, students would go from paying $50 for each credit to not being charged at all to take those courses. The district would pick up the tab by paying $2,500 to offer six or more sections of the program to its students.

The charge would be determined by the previous year’s number of sections. There is a smaller charge if less than six sections are offered.

If the district agrees to this new funding model, Carter said it could not charge students to raise the district cost for the program.