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Architect talks with Williamsport school board

A study on facilities within the Williamsport Area School District has primarily been in the information gathering stages, according to Scott Cousin, an architect with Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, which is doing the study. Cousin shared an update at the district’s board meeting Tuesday.

“We gathered existing documents from the facility director. We walked through all the school buildings with our engineers, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing side of things, but also we sent a structural engineer through some of your buildings. We saw some areas of concern. We met with your administrative team…and talked about the educational program and got kind of a sense, an overview of how you do things here at Williamsport educationally. We gathered enrollment data and we’ve talked initially about some budget constraints,” Cousin said.

He explained that his group has moved on from the information gathering into a data analyzation phase.

Some of the things that have been looked at by the architectural firm are the educational adequacy of district school buildings, the capacity of the buildings, facility condition assessments, conditions and improvements needed and enrollment projections.

“A big bulk of what we’ve been up to is facility condition assessment. That’s really looking at each building from an infrastructure standpoint–exterior site, building, walls, doors, systems, finishes, all that. What is the condition of all your facilities. What are the improvements that are needed, either short term, three to five years, middle term, five to ten, or identifying things that need to be evaluated in another eight to ten years,” Cousin said.

Once the data has been analyzed, Cousin noted that needs are prioritized and from that options are developed. Ultimately recommendations are made, but Cousin cautioned that their role is solely as architects.

“We don’t live in Williamsport, we don’t teach in Williamsport, we don’t go to school in Williamsport. Really it’s up to us to develop options to solve needs, but it’s up to you to determine what is the best option to fit your need,” he added.

Crabtree has been meeting with a steering committee throughout the process. The study, which was approved last year, is expected to be completed in March.

Dr. Timothy Bowers, district superintendent, reminded the board that when the study is finished final approval falls to the board.

He told them to remember that the work of the committees is the process that moves the project forward, but “the decisions, the ultimate approval of things, really lie with this board.”

In other business, the board approved the Services in Lieu of Taxes agreement with UPMC Susquehanna, including the physician services agreement, effective July 1, 2019 and ending on June 30, 2021. The services will be provided in accordance with the schedule agreed to by both parties.

The board also approved a contract with UPMC Williamsport doing business as UPMC Pediatric Rehabilitation for the 2019-20 school year to provide physical and occupational therapy services based on individual student evaluations.

Under personnel items, the board approved the resignations of Carol A. Roles, part-time aide, and Jamie L. Yonkin, full-time school counselor. Yonkin’s resignation is effective March 6.

The board also approved the following appointments:

• Seth A. Herb, temporary professional employee to be assigned a primary school counselor at Hepburn-Lycoming Primary School at a salary of $53,500.

• Faith E. Silvagni, long-term substitute teacher as a special education teacher at Cochran Primary School at a salary of $53,500.

• Stacy A. Feight, Tammy L. Sewell and Cheyenne A. Snyder, part-time food service workers at a rate of $12.70 per hour.

• Gregory A. Brown and Judith E. Horn, part-time aides at a rate of $13.59 per hour.

• Faith M. Dunkleberger, long-term substitute teacher at a salary of $50,500 through the end of the semester.

• Tymir T. James, substitute administrative support aide at a rate of $9.00 per hour.

• Jenny R. Mosteller as a substitute food service worker at a rate of $9.00 per hour.

A Memorandum of Understanding pertaining to the employment of Dr. Charles Greevy IV, the newly hired director of secondary curriculum, was approved by the board.

The Girls on the Run Program’s request for relief of occupancy fees of $6,650 each at Cochran, Jackson and Steven primary schools and Curtin and Lycoming Valley Intermediate schools was also approved by the board. The program runs from March 2 through May 6. The group had requested to hold activities related to the program at the schools.

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