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Muncy School District to vote on new projects

The Muncy School Board met Monday night for its “Committee of the Whole” meeting to prepare agenda items for voting for its public meeting this coming week.

The board is forwarding several construction projects to vote on at its Jan. 18 public meeting, including a new security gate, a basement flooring project, and stormwater and sanitary line repair projects.

“Many districts have separate enclosed entrances to limit access to the building,” said Craig Skaluba, district superintendent.

Skaluba explained the security gate project will add a ramp and separate door to its new high school addition, which will allow high school staff to interact with visitors in a place where they do not have access to the rest of the building.

The project initially clocked in at $71,065 _ however, Skaluba secured a $50,000 building safety grant that will drop the cost down to around $20,000.

Additionally, Skaluba said because the district is sharing blueprints for the project to the contractor, they will receive a $3,000 deduction for the project, bringing it to less than $20,000 when all is said and done.

Several floor areas of the basement and stair tower were not completely replaced during recent renovations, Skaluba said. So, the district will vote to spend $80,000 on completing the project.

There are two stormwater lines that must be removed and relocated that travel under a parking lot at the district. The relocation will cost about $10,600.

Finally, the district is voting to sleeve a broken sanitary line that runs in the area of the district’s art shop. This project will cost around $15,800.

All the projects that will be voted on next week are being contracted by Lobar and Associates.

In the grander scheme of the district’s financials, Skaluba reported the district has around $800,000 in capital project funds left over from the new expansion project.

Additionally, Skaluba reported the district is looking to receive around $800,000 in a new wave of CARES Act funds to help the district react to the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impacts.

That number could be more or less, according to Skaluba, who said he was reporting an estimate.

The Muncy School District initially received $196,000 in CARES Act funds in the spring, which helped the district purchase cleaning supplies and get its student population to a 1:1 technology ratio — meaning every student has access to a device to learn remotely.

Skaluba explained the district does not know how it will spend that amount of money, and that it must first analyze its expenditures and review instructions from the federal government on how that money can be spent.

“Obviously, we’re worried about protective equipment for staff and students,” Skaluba said. “We will continue to procure those items.”

Andrew Seese, the district’s business administrator, reviewed major findings from the June 30, 2020. He revealed the district’s general fund had a surplus for the second year in a row totalling $225,000.

Skaluba said the district needs to find a sweet spot of $100,000 more or less in its general fund to find a “sweet spot” to avoid having taxpayers paying too much. He noted this year, the board chose not to increase taxes.

The board will reconvene Jan. 18 for its monthly meeting.

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