2009-01-15 / Front Page

Heating Woes Plague Forbes Road School

Boiler breakdown leads to early dismissal Monday
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

The Forbes Road School Board received an update Monday night on the district's heating woes that led to an unexpected dismissal of students earlier in the day.

Building and grounds supervisor John Mixell appeared before the school board and administration to outline the continuing problems with the two boilers located in the district's relatively new junior/senior high school.

According to Mixell, a crack appeared in one of the boilers last week, resulting in a breakdown similar to one experienced by the district in February 2008. While waiting on an estimate to have the unit repaired, the second boiler cracked Monday, leaving the administration with no other choice but to dismiss students just before lunchtime.

Repairmen from Knisely and Sons Inc. worked throughout the day Monday and by evening got one of the boilers back on line. While there has not been a definite answer given on the exact cause of the ongoing problems with the heating system, Mixell reminded the board the boiler sections fall under a five-year warranty. Labor is not covered through the warranty, and the district has a $2,500 deductible.

In other building and grounds matters, the board gave authorization for alumni to utilize the old gymnasium for basketball recreation on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. beginning December 21.

Soccer coach Kevin Bricker will be holding indoor soccer practice in the old high school gymnasium on Thursday evenings from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A mock drill is in the works for the school district in upcoming months as a joint effort between the district, Pennsylvania State Police, Emergency Management Agency, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies. The drill will assist in finding areas of weakness and strength within the school's facilities while also helping first responders have a better working relationship on emergency scenes.

Curriculum

Homebound instruction was approved for a high school student.

Personnel

With regret the board accepted the retirement of longtime elementary teacher Nancy Horne, who will be permanently replaced by Samantha Connor. Conner is slated to receive a prorated salary for remainder of the current school year. Conner, elementary Principal Byron Helsel added, has been substituting in recent months for teachers on maternity leave.

McConnellsburg resident Joan Mellott was added to the district's professional teacher substitute list.

Theresa Burd resigned from her position as library aide.

Finance

In accordance with Act 1, a resolution was adopted stating the district will not raise the rate of any tax support for the 2009- 10 fiscal year by more than its index. The index at this time is the equivalent of 1.8925 mills.

After having completed her probationary period, business manager Lynn Wertman is scheduled to receive a 5 percent pay raise through the conclusion of the fiscal year.

The law firm of Andrews & Beard was hired to represent the school district in negotiations.

At the conclusion of the January 12 board meeting, the board held an executive session to review legal matters. The board also conducted a 20-minute executive session for legal and personnel issues prior to the meeting during their regularly scheduled work session.

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