FASD delays budget vote; approves roof repair
The Fairfield Area School District (FASD) board voted unanimously on May 10 to award bids to contractors to begin roofing work in the elementary, middle and high school.
After meeting with William Mooney, warden of district buildings and grounds, the council approved the contracts in its consent agenda.
The bids awarded include $ 592,000 to Ream Roofing Associates, LLC for high school and high school and $ 145,000 to Detwiler Roofing, LLC for elementary school.
After recent storms, Mooney said elementary school had developed three new leaks, including one in the teachers’ break room.
Completely replacing roofs in the neighborhood would become pricey because adjustments would have to be made to get them to code, Mooney said. He recommended providing the roofs with a 20-year coating. After 20 years, the roofs can be covered again for a third of the costs (excluding inflation).
Mooney said the roofs will be white to reduce heat and UV damage.
“If we don’t do anything and have to replace the roof, we’re looking forward to more than $ 20 per square foot,” Mooney said. “Now if we bring it back up, we’re looking at about $ 14 per square foot and we get a better, more durable product that won’t degrade at the speed of EPDM (rubber roofing) and the white roof. the building for the better. If we have a black roof up there, it tends to add heat to the building. It’s a heat load, so that would destroy a lot of that. “
The approval agenda, including the approval of the roof repairs, was met 9-0.
The board voted in favor of a discussion about whether or not to increase the property tax rate from 11,0751 to 11,462 (3.5%). It also decided to hold off on approving the proposed preliminary budget for 2021-22.
The possible increase in the tax rate and the provisional budget are linked. The board agreed to hold a budget workshop to try and reduce the budget if possible to avoid raising the tax rate so high.
It will review the rate increase and budget at its next regular meeting.
While Barbara Richwine, principal of Fairfield Area Elementary School, reported that test participation at her school is high, Patricia Weber, principal of Fairfield Area Middle School, was concerned about her school’s rates.
Weber said the high school PSSA participation rate is about 95%. If it drops below 95%, the school will be penalized later this year for any student who unsubscribes, she said.
Weber also noted that the replacement fill rate was unsatisfactory.
From May 3-14, there were 14 unfilled vacancies and only 8 vacancies filled, she said. The school had to combine classes when no substitutes were available.
One participant asked the board why schools had to close and why cleaning crews didn’t work on weekends to clean the buildings to reduce closures.
He also asked when the board member will return to face-to-face meetings from his Zoom meetings.
Mooney said he has not had staff available to work overtime to clean on weekends when closures have occurred on Fridays.
Chief Inspector Michael Adamek said Governor Tom Wolf’s looser restrictions scheduled for Memorial Day weekend will provide more flexibility with the upcoming graduation ceremony.
Adamek also said he expects approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for 12-15-year-old children will reduce school closures due to positive cases of the novel coronavirus.
The board voted to allow all 12-month employees to work 10 hours a day Monday through Thursday and close on Friday from June 14 to August 23.
The next regular board meeting will take place on Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m.