The Spring-Ford Area School District board of education met for its monthly work session on Monday night to discuss committee reports, hear and talk about new initiatives.
Tom DiBello gave a report on the property committee's Sept. 7 meeting, which had a packed agenda. DiBello reported that the committee decided as a whole to look deeper into solar energy options at the schools.
One company came in and gave a presentation, stating if it were to do work on the schools, it would own and maintain the solar energy equipment. The average savings would be 10-percent less than what the district spends currently. The plan would be to pick one building to start on, which could save up to $20,000 per year.
DiBello said the board would have to weigh out the risk of employing the option over the course of 20 years. Additional companies will be coming in over the next couple of meetings and the committee will make a recommendation to the board after all parties were heard.
The new janitorial company, Jani-King, which is used at the schools is going fine, according to director or planning, operations and facilities Bruce Cooper.
"Things are progressing forward as planned," DiBello said. "There were some issues that have been reported as incidents at the schools, but Bruce said they were only normal [operations] that happen from year to year."
After the meeting, Cooper confirmed that statement, saying that teachers and administrators had minor complaints and there was nothing to worry about in the grand scheme of things.
DiBello also mentioned that the tennis courts at the ninth grade center need repairs or replacements on both the lighting and fencing. Currently, the committee is recommending the administration do one of three things: bid and award contract for labor and materials to replace lighting, which would cost $70,000; purchase materials only and do work in-house, which would cost $45,000; or bid and award contract for replacement of the fencing, which would cost $19,000.
Cooper said the problem with replacing just the fencing is, the courts would also totally lose the lighting, as the wiring and infrastructure is connected to the fence. DiBello opposed spending money on new lighting.
"I just can't support replacing lighting [at the courts] if its just for the public to use," he said.
Finally, DiBello noted the tree planning and paving being done at the ninth grade center is being completed, including new costs around $9,000. However, he said that some trees near the end of the driveway were not planted for safety precautions, which saved the school $8,000. Therefore, the net of additional costs is only $1,000.
Superintendent David Goodin gave his report, saying that director Joe Greb will be coming to one of the October meetings to present recruitment and promotion practices for the schools. He also mentioned that new assistant superintendent Allyn Roche will be starting at Spring-Ford on Oct. 10, two weeks ahead of time.
Goodin reported he now has a blog on the school's main web site, which is open to parent and student comment. However, since the blog is a bit new, he has not received much feedback yet.
Finally, he is also compiling a feel for the dress code issue and trying to get students and members of the community involved. Goodin said he was going to schedule a date soon.
Board member Mark Dehnert said that he read through the policy and thought it was pretty thorough.
"It makes me question: is the policy no good or is the enforcement not working?" Dehnert said.
Goodin replied that he talked to the students and was hearing both sides of it.
"One student told me, 'From a teacher's perspective, we might need to address it, but from mine, it looks pretty good,'" Goodin said.