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School board OKs pact with borough

September 13, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The borough of Chambersburg and the Chambersburg Area School District will swap traffic lights for recreational improvements under a proposed agreement that the school board approved Wednesday night.

The agreement, related to the $70 million renovation and expansion of Chambersburg Area Senior High School, calls for the borough to install new traffic and pedestrian signals at the intersections of Fourth and Catherine streets, and Fourth and McKinley streets, according to a press release the board issued at the meeting.

The borough would also undertake "a program of additions and renovations to its recreational facilities, which may be used by school district students," the release stated. Under the agreement, the district would contribute $700,000 from the high school project budget for those improvements.

"It's not specified in the agreement" what improvements would be paid for by the school district, Director of Information Services Sylvia Rockwood said.

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The school board voted 8-1 in favor of the agreement, with board member Renee Sharpe casting the dissenting vote. The board went into executive session on another matter shortly after the vote.

"The borough has the ability to get it done a lot quicker than they can," Borough Council President William McLaughlin said of the traffic signal improvements. "We hopefully won't get caught up in the bureaucracy" of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, he said in a telephone interview.

The borough would get the permits from PennDOT and install the lights no later than Aug. 15, 2010, the release stated. McLaughlin said the council will vote on the agreement on Sept. 24, along with the high school land-development plan.

The borough has been discussing a list of recreational facilities that need renovations, including the municipal pool and Henninger Field, costing several million dollars. McLaughlin said he did not know what recreational improvements would be made with the district's money, although Henninger Field is "a possibility."

The Chambersburg Trojans have played at the borough baseball diamond for decades, but Greene Township this summer offered to make a diamond at its new municipal park available to the team for about $15,000 a year.

The district news release said the agreement allows the district to take advantage of the borough's expertise in traffic safety and recreation, while the borough gets money from the district for unfunded recreation projects.

Earlier this week, Superintendent Joseph Padasak said bids for the high school project will go out in November and construction will begin in May. The project is scheduled for completion by September 2011.

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