2009-01-29 / Local & State

Energy Audit To Be Completed For SF District

Board lowers age limit for Diploma Recovery program participants
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

A letter of interest was penned by the Southern Fulton School Board last week allowing a company with local ties to complete a preliminary audit outlining potential energy savings in the district's two facilities.

TAC, which was represented at the board's January 20 meeting by company representatives Seema Bhatt and Weston Ernst, has completed several jobs locally, including at the Blair County airport and the Huntingdon Career and Technology Center. At Southern Fulton, the company has already completed walkthroughs of both the elementary and high school buildings attempting to identify possible energy conservation and improvement efforts.

In speaking with the board, Bhatt reminded those on-hand that utility rate caps will soon be lifted, which is a big concern for many other school districts. A performance assessments by TAC of the facilities revealed a cost of $1.35 per square foot at the junior/senior high and $1.08 per square foot at the elementary.

Bhatt stated there are a lot of existing opportunities for improvement at the district, including lighting, humidity and an "antiquated" boiler at the high school. A report of TAC's findings was previously presented to the administration and Superintendent Ralph Scott.

Bhatt concluded the district would be guaranteed energy savings, and in the case of a shortfall the company would make up the amount. In the event the district would pursue any renovation projects based on TAC's recommendations listed in their preliminary audit, the district would be required to sign a 15- year contract.

There will be no cost to the district for the completion of the energy and facility audit.

A quote in the amount of $9,300 was accepted as submitted by Knisely and Sons Inc. for repairs to the condensing unit and replacement of a condensing coil at the elementary building. Building and grounds supervisors Mike Shaw noted the miscellaneous repairs were to get the air conditioning unit up and ready for spring.


In personnel-related matters, the board accepted letters of resignation from head track and field coach George Kuhne and junior high assistant soccer coach Tom Brambley. In a follow-up motion, Herb Brambley was appointed to the position of varsity soccer coach, while Joe Hollenshead will fill Kuhne's position as head track coach.

The following individuals will be added to the district's substitute list for the 2008-09 school year pending the completion of paperwork: Via Shaw, substitute aid; Beverly Williams and Lisa Gartner, substitute cafeteria workers; and Debbie Hiller and Joan Mellott, substitute teachers.

Ag teacher Rebecca Mosemann was granted an unpaid leave of absence tentatively starting February 25 through the conclusion of the 2008-09 school year. Meanwhile, Valerie White will take an intermittent unpaid leave of absence during 2008-09. Board member Richard Mosemann abstained during the rollcall vote regarding daughter-inlaw Rebecca Mosemann. Fellow board member Patrick Bard was unable to attend last Tuesday's meeting.


High school Principal Meredith Hendershot reported one person has completed the district's Diploma Recovery program to date this year, and an additional participant is still working toward completing the necessary graduation requirements. Teachers Joe Hollenshead and Angela Adams, it was mentioned by the administration, have donated their time to serve as program instructors. Furthermore, in noting changes in the economy and local workforce, the board unanimously agreed with Hendershot's suggestion of lowering the eligibility age in the program from 25 to 22.

The date of March 30 has been set aside as an Act 80 day for teacher professional development. The day has been scheduled after PSSA testing, Superintendent Scott added.


Policy 249, pupils, bullying/ cyberbulling, and policy 800, operations, records management, were approved as presented for a first reading.

Board secretary and district secretary Betty Feagley was given the additional title of open records officer retroactive to January 1. Finance

The board authorized the transfer of a total of $700,000 from its PLGIT Plus Account to the Tax Stabilization Fund. The transaction was made in order to meet the district's increased debt service obligations during 2009-10 through 2017-18.

In addition, an additional $500,000 from the PLGIT Plus Account has been designated for use in meeting an anticipated increase in the district's Public School Employees' Retirement System costs during the 2012-13 fiscal year.

In response to a certificate of deposit (CD) recently obtained by Branch Banking & Trust, the board agreed to reinvest the $96,000, plus accrued interest, upon certain conditions. In order for the reinvestment to occur, the certificate must be insured by FDIC; the new interest rate must be higher than that offered by Branch Banking & Trust; and the district solicitor must confirm the legal right for Branch Banking & Trust to unilaterally lower the district's interest rate upon acquisition of the CD.

The board agreed to cancel its February meeting on a 6-2 roll-call vote. Board members Ed Yates and Danny Crouse voted against cancelling.

Authorization was given to Superintendent Scott to send a letter on behalf of the district to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. The letter is to express the district's dissatisfaction with the allotted time given to the district to respond to the county and not having input on a recent tax appeal. The appeal reportedly generated a loss of more than $16,000 in the district's tax base.

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