Danville Board of Directors Approves $ 4.7 Million School Renovation Deal | New


DANVILLE – School officials in the Danville area on Tuesday night approved a contract with KCBA Architects of Center Valley for $ 4.7 million renovations to Liberty Valley Intermediate School and Elementary School in Danville.

The funds will come from the $ 8.89 million bond issue that the school board approved in September, district business manager Bobbi Ely said after the board meeting. The district is also using a portion of that bond issue as the district’s $ 4.3 million share in the Columbia-Montour region vocational and technical school upgrade, Ely said.

The district saved $ 1.17 million for the contribution.

Ely said work at Liberty Valley is primarily for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, along with other renovations. The cost of the work at this school is estimated at $ 4.2 million. The district also plans to add a classroom to the primary school as part of the project. That cost is estimated at $ 500,000, Ely said.

The repairs needed, particularly in Liberty Valley, were among the recommendations of a feasibility study by KCBA and presented at the May school board meeting. Superintendent Ricki Boyle said the study indicated asphalt and sidewalks were coming, the school needed a roof replacement, moisture was seeping through the ground, the toilets are not ADA compliant and the HVAC system needs an upgrade.

This district building survey also recommended dropping the aging and flood-prone middle school, building a high school annex for seventh and eighth grades, moving sixth year from middle school to middle school, and third year to K- 2 primary school. The project would also include the relocation of sports fields to agricultural land in front of the elementary school that the district rents from the Borough of Danville. KCBA estimated that the price of all of these recommendations at today’s prices would reach $ 52.5 million.

District officials have not decided to do this whole project, at least for now. Instead, the focus is on renovations to Liberty Valley and elementary schools and relocating athletic fields.

Parent defends fired coach

Also at Tuesday night’s school board meeting, parent Roseanne Benfer defended former college cross-country assistant coach Tina Bartholomew. The board fired Bartholomew from that position at the September 28 meeting without identifying him or the reason for his dismissal.

Benfer said his daughter Lauren, an eighth-grader, was one of Bartholomew’s team.

Three parents and two of Bartholomew’s daughters defended the coach at the October 12 meeting, saying the dismissal was over, saying Bartholomew had published confidential surveys of the coaches to which the students responded.

Bartholomew remains a district Spanish teacher and high school girls track coach.

The board of directors approved the hiring of attorney Scott Etter of the Etter, State College law firm to provide Title IX investigative services, as required, at a rate of $ 175 per hour.

Title IX provides protection against gender discrimination in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance, according to the US Department of Education.

Council attorney Carl Beard said the district needed someone objective to defend the district should such a case arise.

The board also approved Beard’s firm, the Beard Legal Group, Altoona, as counsel for the next three years, until June 30, 2024, at a rate of $ 165 per hour.

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