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School board votes down sign request, OKs YMCA plan

July 19, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Two requests before the Waynesboro Area School Board this week prompted some members to question how school properties can and should be used by other entities.

The Waynesboro Borough Council asked to place a 9-foot-wide sign welcoming motorists to Waynesboro at the Summitview Elementary School property abutting Pa. 16. The council asked to erect the sign near two dove statues that have proven controversial in the past through a resident's accusations that they are Islamic symbols.

Also, the Waynesboro Area YMCA asked to administer a child-care program at Fairview and Summitview elementary schools.

The school board approved the YMCA's before- and after-school programs on a 6-2 vote, but rejected the sign request 8-1. Board member Leland Lemley was out of the room for the YMCA vote.

Borough Council President Craig Newcomer was at the school board's meeting on Tuesday to answer questions about the sign, which is part of a set of four.

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"These signs were going to be put in various villages surrounding Waynesboro, but they didn't go over very well," Newcomer said.

The Vision 2015 signs that say "Welcome to the greater Waynesboro area" were partially scorned when targeted for communities such as Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Now, the council is putting them at Green Hill Cemetery, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Pratt Court housing development, Newcomer said.

"I feel very strongly against putting any signs of any kind on our campus, no matter how aesthetically pleasing. ... We already have one major problem with the doves," said Anna Bostwick-Foley, a school board member.

The YMCA program will operate before school starting at 6:30 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m., Assistant Superintendent Gloria Walker said. It will have a trial run in 2007-08 in Fairview and Summitview elementary schools, she said.

The YMCA agreed to pay custodial fees and upgrade security at Summitview, Walker said.

Rates would be comparable to those associated with the YMCA's existing in-house program, which is about $150 per month for a family to receive care five days a week.

Twenty to 24 children will be accepted at each elementary school, Walker said previously. Families do not have to be YMCA members, she said.

Board member Michael Shea shared concerns about the psychological effects on a child left at a school for 12 hours. While convenient for parents, it might not fit into the schools' mission, he said.

"It is not the public schools' mission to provide day care," Bostwick-Foley said.

"This is something parents of elementary-age kids really need," said K. Marilyn Smith, a school board member who also is on the YMCA's board.

Survey results indicate parents are looking for the service, which is something provided by YMCAs all over the country, Walker said.




How they voted



The Waynesboro Area School Board voted 6-2 Tuesday to support the YMCA's child-care program at two of its elementary schools.

Voting for: Stanley Barkdoll, Lee Daywalt, Chrs Devers, John Fitz, Larry Glenn, K. Marilyn Smith

Voting against: Anna Bostwick-Foley, Michael Shea

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