Johnstown to dip into reserves: School district needs more than $30K to correct equipment problems

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education voted Thursday night to use more than $30,000 in reserve funding to correct equipment problems at two of the elementary schools.

Following a public hearing, the board approved two resolutions at its meeting at Glebe Street Elementary School.

The board approved a $16,700 expenditure from the district’s Repair Reserve Fund to replace air conditioning at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School. The repair is not an ongoing problem, the district said.

Another resolution passed to spend $14,091 from the Repair Reserve Fund for repair and replacement of the telephone and public announcement system at the Glebe Street Elementary School.

School Business Manager Alice Sise told the board the Repair Reserve Fund was set up for these types of emergencies.

“It has a current balance of $500,000,” Sise said.

She said the funding is for repairs that the district didn’t budget for, or for one-time expenses.

Sise said the projects need fixing because they are essential to the district.

Board President Kathryn Zajicek said the public address system must be kept intact as a safety issue at Glebe Street Elementary School. She said the air conditioning system at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School is also essential to maintain because it cools equipment at a district computer lab.

During the public hearing, Dick Baker of Route 67 asked why the district didn’t budget for these items in its ongoing $39.6 million capital project.

Sise noted that capital bids are just coming in now for major infrastructure work at all the schools, and the public address and air conditioning problems have been needed for some time.

“They’re repairs that have to be done now,” Sise said.

Overall, the district is tapping the reserves by $30,791 for both projects.

In other business Thursday night:

∫ The board adopted a revised 2017-18 district calendar on the recommendation of Superintendent Patricia Kilburn.

∫ Board members accepted a $4,000 donation from William Crankshaw, representing the total proceeds of the recent Madrigal Choir Reunion Concert.

“I would like to have an official letter of thanks sent to Mr. Crankshaw,” said board member Kathy Dougherty.

Zajicek said the donation is “phenomenal” for both the community and the school district.

∫ The board set a 3.5 percent increase in tuition rates for 2017-18 for non-residents. Rates are currently over $3,000.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Chad Fleck

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