Avon Grove Taxpayers for Responsible Spending


        Citizens, Parents, and Schools working together to bring Avon Grove into the 21st Century!

Avon Grove School Board
Committee of the Whole- Planning and Construction
January 17, 2019

Members of the School Board participated in this meeting and included Ms Tracy Lisi (Chair), Mr John Auerbach, Mr Charles Beatty, Mr Jeff  Billig, Mr Rick Dumont, Mr Herman Engel, Ms Lynn Weber, Mr Bill Wood, and Ms Bonnie Wolff.   All were present for the discussion.

Meeting Agenda: http://www.boarddocs.com/pa/avongrove/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=B7JNMC5E8936
Full Meeting Video:

Update from the Integration Committee (15:14 in the Video)
Mr Dan Carsley, the Director of Business Administration and the Chief Financial Officer of the school district presented an update from the Integration Committee.  KCBA architects have been working on the layout and design of the High School building, site development and property surrounding the building including roads, parking lots, athletic fields, etc. . They are also proposing a maintenance building on the site.The plan is to include all turf fields in the design.

There will be a meeting with Penn Township about permits on January 31st.  PENNDOT has required a gravity study (i.e. a study that uses a gravity model as an analytical tool to simulate present and future trip distribution patterns) that will help define what is needed to manage the traffic impact on the area.  There was also a lengthy discussion on the new Dunkin’ Donuts’ overflow traffic which could impact the flow of traffic leading into the school.  There is a concern that traffic for the Dunkin’ Donuts will peak at the same time students and faculty are trying to get to the High School, if a long line at the drive-thru is allowed to extend into the High School entrance coming off of Old Baltimore Pike.

Budget Update (26:00 in the Video)

Mr Auerbach questioned what was being included in the budget for the school facilities project.  He asked for confirmation that the cost for any activity that occurs to support the new facilities is included in the expenses listed against the approved project budget.  He believes the current legal fees are likely too low and some expenses have not yet been captured.  Mr Carsley stated that he will be reviewing fees to make sure they have been properly captured in the budget. 

Mr Auerbach asked when an updated budget reflecting the additions to the project will be made available to the School Board.  He was told that these numbers will not be available until mid-March.  There is a desire to wait for the decision on the ACE (Alternative and Clean Energy program) grant before updating the budget. The decision on ACE should be known by the end of January.

Update on Design Development (31:22 in the Video)
Project Schedule (1:22:38 in the Video)

Design development for the new High School will continue through first half of 2019. Construction is scheduled to start in 2020 with completion in 2022. The project has been accepted into the PlanCon process but the program remains under a moratorium so no new projects are receiving reimbursement because the state has not allocated and approved funding in the budget.  The cost of the conversion of the current High School to the Middle School should be eligible for reimbursement but to get the reimbursement it would be necessary to sign contracts earlier than they are needed.  A request for a variance from the state has been requested and an answer from the state is expected by the end of January.

Potential Projects to be Discussed at Future Meetings (1:55:00 in the Video)
The Board agreed to have presentations on the following projects that are being considered for the new High School - Community Health Clinic (Feb), Early Learning/Child Development Program, and Professional Learning Communities. 

 Mr Dumont asked for a presentation on how the additional space will be used in the new High School compared to the current High School.  Mr Auerbach asked for a presentation on how the new space will be used for Applied Engineering, the Science Labs, the Food Labs, Art, and Transitional Learning/Life Skills.

*Call to Action
It is important that your voice is heard.  It is critical that community members attend upcoming school board meetings and/or send letters via e-mail to the school board and administration to make their voice heard.   The District Calendar can be found here.   Watch the district calendar for updates.  Information about the board, including E-mail addresses, can be found here.

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 Encourage your fellow community members visit our website and do the same.