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Waynesboro school board seeks higher reimbursement

January 18, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Area School Board has authorized the architect for its $40 million high school renovation project to ask the state for an additional $1 million reimbursement.

The board already was approved for about a $12 million reimbursement from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, according to Larry Glenn, school board president.

Reimbursement is based on the number of students in a school compared to the available instructional space, said Barry Dallara, superintendent of Waynesboro Area School District.

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"Enrollment is the driving factor," Dallara said.

The district became eligible for the additional reimbursement by adding new vocational career programs, Dallara told the school board Tuesday.

Dallara said he does not know when the board will receive word from the state regarding the additional reimbursement.

The board is looking to host the project's architect, EI Associates of Harrisburg, Pa., next month to address issues debated during a public hearing in December.

In 2004, the board voted to incur up to $40 million in debt to fund renovation projects at the high school, middle school and Summitview Elementary School.

Last month, a representative of EI Associates said that amount will be needed entirely at the high school if the board sticks to its approved plans.

It would require a tax increase of about 11 mills by the 2009-10 school year. The school board has added 2 of those 11 mills into the current budget, according to documents presented at the public hearing.

The focus of the building project is moving core facilities such as the auditorium and gym from their current, landlocked locations to an addition on the east side of the school. Plans call for new third and fourth levels on some parts of the two-story building.

Mark Barnhardt, vice president of EI Associates, previously said the plans for the project are designed so additional classrooms easily could be built in the future.

Barnhardt said the only classrooms that would be constructed during the project would replace those considered substandard in size by state standards. The current enrollment is about 1,400.

The renovation project would add 102,000 square feet to the 190,600-square-foot high school, which was built in 1962, according to a project description.

Bids are scheduled to go out in the spring, with construction starting after school lets out for the summer.

Todd Rock, a school board member, voted against seeking the additional reimbursement. Fellow board member Leland Lemley was not in attendance Tuesday.

Voting in favor of the motion were Glenn, John Fitz, Megan Shea, Stanley Barkdoll, K. Marilyn Smith, Chris Devers and Anna Bostwick-Foley.

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