How much is enough?

Despite the Montoursville School District’s failure to determine a use for the abandoned 1931 school building, a rather large amount of money is about to be spent on it. It is an absolute Certainty. The invoices that will come before the Board over the next few months will attest to that. And they will come.

Why? The reason began recently, with the start of demolition of the old Auditorium. This demolition includes the stone portion of the connecting corridor that ties it to the 1931 building, or more specifically, to the 1950 stone-front wing added in 1951.

Under the ‘Project Unity’ plan approved by the Board, the 1931 structure will remain. But the entire Stone Building that stretches along Arch Street in Montoursville includes a significant portion at the north end built in 1951.

That part of the building will come down soon. Put another way, the north end of the old stone-front schoolhouse will be literally tore in half. And when that happens, what is left behind will require significant reconstruction and alternation.

That work will not be performed for free. It will easily cost hundreds of thousands of tax dollars.

The reconstruction of the roofline and alternation of the truss structure, the foundational alterations, wall reconstruction, waterproofing, electrical & plumbing terminal ends, exterior wall rebuilding, etc, will be extremely costly. But it will have to happen.

The “ragged ends” of the building walls and roof cannot just be wrapped in plastic and left alone. Significant work will be required, and the contractor will demand payment for the labor time and materials required to fix it.

Board members have told us previously that the cost of this is “reflected in the District Office and Demolition savings.”

Horse farmers know what that explanation really is; they’ve stepped in it before.

What they are actually saying is that the demolition savings are not as great as they could be, because they know that much of those savings will be diverted to repair the demolished end of the ‘1931’, a building no one will ever use. Ever.

And the money does not come from some imaginary “savings”; rather, it is borrowed money that taxpayers will have to pay back. And we get nothing for it.

The Board has talked little about this up to now. Most assuredly, one of two things is true: Either they are intentionally keeping it quiet in order to avoid a public outcry over the enormous waste of tax dollars, or they did not themselves realize what they have committed the district to paying by trying to keep the ’31 standing. Either way, their negligence and ignorance is stunning.

Seriously, how much is enough?

Michael Luna


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom