SMASD School Board discusses upkeep, upgrade projects

ST. MARYS - With the completion of the 2011- 2012 school year, St. Marys Area School District Superintendent Ann Kearney offered congratulations to those who contributed to the success of the term and began to discuss district activities planned for the summer recess during Thursday's workshop meeting of the board of directors Kearney said an administrative retreat will take place over a four-day period the week of June 18 at the high school library. She said the retreat will provide administrators with the opportunity to reflect on the past school year and begin preparations for the next. "What we typically do at that retreat is we take a good look at the past school year, look at things we did that we thought were effective and then we start to think about what can we do to make things better and look at the class sizes and so on," Kearney said. Kearney said they were hoping to have received this year's PSSA results by this coming Monday but an email from the Pennsylvania Department of Education indicated the results will be made available at a date yet to be determined. She also discussed upkeep and upgrade projects to take place at various district buildings during the summer break. She said that work had begun Wednesday to tear down the "popcorn" ceiling in the hallway at Fox Twp. Elementary School, with work expected to be completed within 14 work days. Kearney also said that bids will be put out this summer for the installation of a roof on the Kelly Gym at South St. Marys Street Elementary School. SMASD School Board President Bob Luchini said work has already begun at Bennetts Valley Elementary School with the installation of new flooring and asbestos removal. Kearney pointed to other small-scale projects which will she said will be handled by ARAMARK.Kearney said that SMASD Head of Maintenance and ARAMARK representative Mark Romain will provide a detailed overview of the planned projects during Monday's meeting of the board. Board member Steve Aul asked if board members would be able to tour the facilities to observe the condition of district buildings in determining what further improvements are needed. Kearney said that with all of the improvements already undertaken at district buildings, it would be beneficial for board members to see firsthand what has been accomplished. "I think it would be a great idea anyhow, because we've done so much work on the buildings and I think it would be a good thing for the board to go around and see all the work that's been done in the last three years," Kearney said.She referred to projects completed in the last three to four years, including roofs replaced at both the high school and South St. Marys Street, replacement of the front doors at the high school and new heating and cooling units at both the high school and middle school. In addition, the outside facade of the middle school project was completed two years ago, as well as changes to more energy-efficient lighting, new flooring in the high school hallways, repainting of the lockers, and new tile in the hallways at South St. Marys Street.