2012-08-30 / Local & State

So. Fulton Phantom Fireworks Reach Agreement On Old Elementary School

By Chanin Rotz-Mountz


After months of closed-door discussions, the fate of Southern Fulton’s former elementary school was decided last week after the school board and representatives of the B.J. Alan Co. came to a mutual agreement.

Last Tuesday, board members Mark Mosemann and Patrick Bard proposed a motion that includes a covenant and agreement, minus tracks three and four, with the B.J. Alan Co., a distributor of Phantom and Wolf Pack brand fireworks. The board agreed to the transaction on a 5- 3 roll-call vote, with board members Danny Crouse, Dale Sigel and Sam Souders dissenting. Fellow member Tim Hull was unable to attend the August 21 meeting.

A copy of the agreement, provided to the “News” by the district, states that Phantom of Breezewood Inc. will demolish the old elementary building located at 12901 Buck Valley Road and turn the property into a grass lot. Southern Fulton will retain ownership of the property.

In addition, the district will “not sell, lease or convey or allow any 1.4G consumer fireworks retailer, wholesaler, distributor or manufacturer to purchase, lease, occupy or conduct business on the property.

Phantom is slated to demolish the building and remediate any environmental concerns at its own expense. Furthermore, the company will give the district $120,000, which will be made in 10 annual lump-sum payments in the amount of $12,000. The payments, according to the documentation, may be used to cover any “maintenance, upkeep or betterment costs.”

The term of the agreement penned between the school and the fireworks distributor is 30 years.

Other agreements accepted by the board last week included a memorandum of understanding between the district and the Southern Fulton Education Association. The document indicates the district is providing leeway to a cafeteria employee who will exhaust her sick, personal and uncompensated days for the current school year by September 10.

The board went on to accept proposed guidelines for athletic field advertising on a 6-2 roll-call vote. Crouse and Sigel dissented to the guidelines, which allow signs to be purchased around the track, baseball and softball fields at a price of $300. Additional years cost $150 for the signs measuring 48 inches by 40 inches. The signs are slated to be fastened to the fence by district personnel on a first-come basis. Furthermore, best locations will be assigned on the basis of date of receipt of payment.

Tabled last month in order for the administration to discuss the matter further with the solicitor, the board returned this month to accept an AIA document with Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates for the proposed renovation of the high school. The board was assured the document does not hinder its ability to add or delete aspects of the multi-million project. Crouse and Sigel voted against the matter.

In personnel-related matters, the board regretfully accepted a letter of resignation as submitted by Scholastic Scrimmage coach Justin Sholes. The board are slated to begin advertising for the vacancy.

Megan Mabey-Leach was hired to serve in the capacity of aide as per the professional staff contract, while Angela Washington was brought on board as a long-term substitute at a daily rate of $115.

Mentors were selected to assist newly hired teachers for the 2012-13 school year. Those selected to serve include Suzette Knox for Laura Northcraft; Cheryl Hoffner for Michelle Trail; Ryan Ickes for Jaime Shaw; Leah Eslinger for the new special education teacher; and Ellen Glunt for Julianna Grubb.

Brian Mottern was appointed to the position of varsity assistant soccer coach as recommended by the athletic director.

Substitutes approved for 2012-13 pending the completion of paperwork are Brittany Buterbaugh, Kristin Peterson, Melissa Duncan, Angela Washington and Logan Cunningham, substitute teacher; Denise Clingerman and Michelle Michael, substitute teacher’s aide; and Angela Thomas, substitute teacher’s aide and substitute secretary.

Kelly Sipes will continue working for the district through Americorps for the purpose of providing transition services.

The board tabled taking action on the hiring of a new special education teacher but did move forward in filling a vacancy in the position of building and ground supervisor. John Bain was unanimously brought on board as maintenance supervisor to replace Michael Shaw, who only several months ago accepted a position with the neighboring Central Fulton School District. Bain’s salary was set at $40,000. His employment is effective immediately and pending the completion of paperwork.

Lists of field trips, fundraisers, professional conferences as well as teaching and staff assignments were accepted as presented. Board member David Smith voted against the matter.

The Warfordsburg Presbyterian Church Outreach/ Fellowship Team was granted authorization to use the parking lot at the old elementary for additional parking during its chili cookoff scheduled for October 5 between noon and 5 p.m.

Under the area of transportation, a school bus stop ahead sign was approved for 6571 Buck Valley Road. In addition, turnaround signs were approved for multiple residents including below the Doug Murray residence on High Germany Road; at the state line on South Clear Ridge Road; and at the intersection of Lehman and Excelsior roads. An additional sign currently located at 1167 Flickerville Road will be relocated to 8393 Old 126 at the Bill Pelton residence.

Paraprofessional Linda Bolden appeared before the board to provide details on the National Autism Conference. Bolden, along with fellow paraprofessional Patty Keefer, attended the four-day event in Penn State in late July.

According to Bolden, the event was “very well organized” and provided a lot of information that she and Keefer can use in the classroom setting. Bolden noted she attended several classes such as how to handle autism and emergencies, toilet training and safety measures. She added in the future she would like to attend the conference and work with the autistic children on-hand.

Brian Deilig from Hillyard gave the board a brief glimpse into the newly implemented Cleaning Cost Analysis Program. The program ranks schools, hospitals and other facilities in terms of cleanliness and provides instructions on how to clean certain areas.

The cleanliness scale is rated from one to five, with one being the best. The district was rated a 4-1/2. However, Deilig quickly noted most schools fall between a three to five on their initial ranking. Over time and with proper training, he hopes the district will achieve a ranking of three.

Deilig said his firm will balance each building’s work load and employees and provide standardized training as it pertains to certain areas such as bathrooms and classrooms.

On the heels of Deilig’s presentation, Superintendent Trail noted it’s of the utmost importance that the maintenance employees maintain an open dialogue throughout the process. She added items will be tweaked as the program progresses.

Bus contractor Glenn Ward returned to the board after last month’s discussion regarding his route that now starts near his home on Hendershot Road, travels to Whips Cove and then back to the school. Ward reiterated some of his prior points on having the children on the bus longer in order for the district to save several miles. He also pointed out there are two buses now travelling Green Lane Road when the district previously only needed on.

He questioned the savings and said the issue has kept him awake many a night. “Some of you should ride this route,” said Ward, who added he would take the issue to Harrisburg if necessary.

Crouse said he had received a telephone call from a parent about the longer bus ride, and Allen Morton confirmed he has heard complaints as well. Morton noted that Crouse came to the district with the idea of using BusTracks to reconfigure the routes and it has indeed saved the school money. He also thanked Ward for the good job he has done over the last 30 years.

The board started the meeting with an executive session to discuss student matters, personnel, negotiations and real estate. In addition to that 50-minute behind-doors talk, the board also conducted an additional executive session lasting one hour and thirtyfive minutes to review negotiations and personnel near the end of the meeting.

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