Carbon board of education discusses building damage at elementary school
The Carbon County School Board conducted the first meeting for the new year Jan. 9 at the Carbon High library.
The first item of business at the meeting was the presentation of adult education diplomas. For most of the graduates, the event was a major milestone. The determination and commitment of the adults were evident as the students marched in front of the crowd to receive the certificates.
After the presentation, the board explained that the department of food services will be featured next month in a nationally publicized magazine. The department earned the honor because of its efforts to provide food services to school children.
The director of food services for the district, Sharon Patten, has been interviewed and will appear in the article.
The board then moved on to the appointment of a business administrator for the district. Once again, William Jewkes was selected for an additional two-year term in the position.
The appointment is the fourth for Jewkes, who has served the school district for more than 25 years.
The board reviewed the Petersen risk management report. The board found out that the East Carbon elementary school is incurring damage due to ground movement.
Petersen has completed a survey given by the state risk management team and has been informed that the school must undergo further studies.
The district has been advised to hire soil engineers to study the movement and to determine the exact composition of the ground beneath the school.
After the soil engineers complete the study, recommendations will be made as to what should be done about the building. Recommendations will include designs for structure control.
The board is concerned that the engineers may find that the cost to fix the building will exceed the expense to build a new structure.
Officials will wait for the study to be completed, then move forward in the decision for structure control. The district may be eligible for a title one, low income school grant provided by the state to help fund the needed improvements.
Maintenance supervisor Deon Kone indicated that "if the school is unsafe for the public, it would be condemned immediately."
The school district hopes to improve the structure of the Petersen building before damage reaches the dangerous level.
At the conclusion of the meeting, board member Walter Borla commended Helper Mayor Joe Bonacci for allowing Sally Mauro Elementary to host the official swearing in ceremony Monday.
"I think it was great that Mayor Bonacci allowed the students to participate in the ceremony. Not only did Bonacci allow them to participate, but he, along with the council came to the school for the ceremony," explained Borla.
According to the board, the support of elected officials and the community is a key role in the education of Carbon students. The school board hopes the support will continue into the future.