Renovations center of North Clarion meeting

By Ryan S. Pugh



School renovation had been at the forefront of the North Clarion School District's plans and discussions over the past few months and the district school board June 23 approved the purchase and installation of a new emergency generator.

The measure passed by a 6-1 vote with Lori Gatesman being the lone no vote. Board members James Shaftic and Winfield Lutz did not attend the meeting.

The cost to purchase and install the new natural gas-powered generator is $87,500. The cost of the generator will be covered by funds from a federal grant.

District-contracted architect Amos Rudolph of Amos Rudolph Architecture, stated there would need to be some conduit and wiring installation between the kitchen and the generator.

Rudolph said the earliest the generator could be installed is October.

North Clarion School Board Vice President Jeff Barron asked Rudolph if installing the generator in October would disrupt classes. Rudolph said he doesn't believe the installation would cause too much of an issue.

Rudolph said some of the hallway floor tiles would need to be lifted in some of to install the conduit. Rudolph said as long the floor work got done, most of the other prep work could be completed in the boiler room prior to the October installation.

Before the vote, North Clarion Superintendent Steve Young reminded the board the district is required to have access to a backup generator by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Young related how around a year ago the district's current backup generator failed but the district was able to obtain the use of the generator provided by Clarion County.

Young said it took around a day to set up the county's backup generator and the school was able to use it free of cost for around four months.

Young said the district got lucky in the fact it was able to find electricians to come in and hook up the county generator on the district's system on a weekend. The cost for the installation of the county's generator was several thousand dollars.

Later in the meeting, Young and the board discussed the possible window replacement in the high school library renovation. Young said the windows weren't scheduled to be removed as part of the renovation but he said he was concerned there wouldn't be enough light in the library without the renovation.

Rudolph said the new windows wouldn't arrive until October or November which is too late in the season to do the replacement.

Young did say the panels were removed off of the top of the library windows and it was discovered the glass went all the way to the ceiling. Young believes having the windows exposed next year would give the district an idea how they wanted to tackle the window replacement in the library.

One project the district can't move forward with is dividing an elementary classroom into two rooms due to a delay in getting the required HVAC equipment. Young said the HVAC equipment wouldn't arrive until October.

Rudolph said if the board wanted to move forward with the project, there was a contractor who could get the district a portable heating and cooling unit at no cost and do the work to split the classroom. Rudolph said the only extra cost would be to connect the HVAC unit into the electrical circuit.

The board declined to move forward with the elementary classroom renovation.

Young also informed the board one of the swing sets at the playground was structurally unsound and needed replaced. Young said there needed to be handicapped accessible swing installed when the swings are re-erected. Young said the cost of the replacement would come from the Pre-K Counts funding.