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Spending OK'd to study Pa. career center plan

December 20, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Thoughts about the future of the Franklin County Career and Technology Center are moving along several paths, as the Chambersburg School Board Wednesday authorized spending $15,000 to determine the feasibility of starting its own career and technology program.

The money will be used by Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates, the district's architects, to examine how much it would cost the district to acquire and renovate an existing building for a career and technology center, or build one from scratch.

During the past year, Chambersburg has adopted resolutions asking the other five districts that send students to the center to approve its plan to spend up to $47 million to buy, expand and take over operation of the center. Waynesboro came up with an alternative proposal to maintain the center as a joint venture, but sell land to Chambersburg for an academic wing.

On Wednesday, the board voted unanimously for a resolution similar to Waynesboro's proposal, although the vote does not supersede the earlier proposal.

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"I like this motion very much ... This is magic if this could go," Board President Thomas Orndorf said.

"The rabbit's not out of the hat yet," said board member Stanley Helman, who added that some of the other superintendents have reacted positively.

Also on Wednesday, the board approved spending money for the study to determine the cost of going it alone on career education. That passed on an 8-1 vote with Orndorf voting "no."

Architect Douglas Rohrbaugh said the study could be completed by March, at about the same time the other districts are being asked to vote on the joint venture proposal.

"I just have a little trouble with the timing of this," Orndorf said. He questioned whether examining the option of going it alone at the same time the district is proposing a joint venture is a good idea.

"We ultimately have to provide for our own students," said Board Vice President Renee Sharpe.

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