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Board considers plan to take over Pa. career center

August 24, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Area School Board has opted to give diplomacy a chance in its desire to take over the Franklin County (Pa.) Career and Technology Center.

School Board President Craig Musser had asked the board to pass a resolution on Wednesday with its intentions for the career center, but several of the other members said they would prefer to talk informally with the county's school district superintendents and career center board about the proposal.

Those talks hopefully will gauge how the career center board will vote on the idea, Musser said after Wednesday's meeting. The governing bodies then must pinpoint when and how the changeover should occur, which includes the option of Chambersburg's board buying the land, he said.

The school board is considering three options to realign the district and make use of 78 acres it owns in Greenvillage, Pa. Two of those options would find up to 1,400 Chambersburg students solely using the career center for their high school education.

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"We would allow other districts to send students there," Musser said.

The school board has had several delays in its decision to realign schools. It now has said it will make a decision Sept. 27.

In 2006-07, Chambersburg Area School District will send 500 students to the career center for both their academic and vocational classes.

The majority of the school board members at Wednesday's meeting expressed discontent with what they perceive as the career center's leaders' inability to stick to a decision.

Members also said they feel saddled with paying for, renovating and maintaining a center used by the entire county.

"Obviously, Waynesboro is going ahead and thinking about their kids first," board member Lori Leedy said, referring to Waynesboro Area School District's $40 million high school renovation project and its enhancements to technology classrooms.

Musser expressed concern about being squeezed out of career center programs started by Chambersburg Area School District once the programs become too large.

Business Manager Rick Vensel said last week that the district has about $71 million in borrowing capacity left from the $116 million the board agreed to two years ago to borrow for its construction program.

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