Board hears updates

MIFFLINTOWN – Discussion continued around various upgrades to the Juniata School District’s schools and grounds Wednesday evening during a workshop meeting of the district board.

A representative from Reynolds Construction Management was on hand at the meeting to give an update on the renovations to Tuscarora Junior High School and on proposed work on the bleachers at Juniata High School.

A representative of Reynolds told the board that a consultant will be looking at the bleachers and creating a complete cost analysis for repairs or new construction. The information will be available in time for the board to have it at its next meeting.

The representative said a previous quote did not include the cost of demolition or prep-work, but the consultant would help with that. The representative also said that, once the project got started, it would not be finished for about four months. This means the project would not be completed in time for football season.

The representative said the window replacements at the junior high school have hit a snag after a crack was found extending nearly to the foundation in one of the walls.

Board member Ray Page asked why this was not seen during the evaluation phase of the project.

The representative said it did not need to be looked at then because the windows were only being replaced. It was discovered when one of the windows was extended. The representative said it will be fixed as soon as reinforcements can be made to the wall allowing removal of soil so that the crack can be fixed.

During the meeting, discussion of the potential purchase of new band uniforms for the East Juniata High School marching band also continued.

Kevin Milliken, EJHS band director, was in attendance at the meeting to answer questions for the board.

Board Vice President Glenda Leister asked why so many uniforms need to be purchased and if there were other places they could be purchased at less cost.

“Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the purchase of new uniforms,” Leister said. “I just want to understand why we need what was bid for.”

Milliken said the 100 uniforms that were bid out are needed because of how hard the uniforms are used and the difference in sizes between students each year.

Both Leister and Page asked if there was a way to order some each year until the full number of uniforms needed was purchased.

“We could do that,” Milliken said. “Then we could run into a problem of not having the original style purchased the first time being an option down the road. However, we could run into a problem with an increase of price if we do not order enough.”

Milliken offered to call the uniform company and get quotes for a purchase of fewer uniforms and, at the same time, check to make sure the style would be available.

The board agreed and the matter will be discussed further at a later date.

Other business:

The board continued discussion about the hiring of three library media specialists. Several members of the board believe the students should wait to learn to use computers, while others believe this service would enhance their education and make them more competitive.

Several members of the board showed concern over the hiring of an occupational therapist, due to the possibility of funds not being available in the future to retain the position.

The next meeting of the Juniata County School Board will be held at 7:30 p.m. on July 17 in the Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School multipurpose room, 75 S. Seventh St, Mifflintown.