Rumors prove true, but not relevant

Yarger: Existing FMES can’t support second story, but expansion can

MIFFLINTOWN — Rumors have been surfacing surrounding building projects at the site of Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School.

During a Thursday meeting of the Juniata County School District Board of Directors, Region 8 Director, Joseph Shearer, said he had heard the school’s foundation won’t support a second story.

“That’s actually true,” said Superintendent Keith Yarger.

As part of west-end elementary school consolidation, the existing building will be renovated. New construction will add another part to the building. The new wing will have a second story, Yarger explained, but the existing building will remain one story.

Also during the meeting, directors voted down establishment of a PIAA sanctioned volleyball program at East Juniata High School for the 2018-2019 year.

Ahead of the vote, EJHS Principal Benjamin Fausey encouraged the board to move ahead with establishment of the team. He said the current cooperative volleyball team between EJHS and Juniata High School has “substantial numbers.” Creating a separate team for each school will connect as many kids as possible with the schools, he said. Though gym time is at a premium in the district, that burden will be eased with the addition of a new gym as a result of elementary school consolidations.

“I agree,” said JHS Principal Edward Apple.

He said 45 girls started the season, and 45 girls have stayed.

Apple echoed Fausey, saying that athletics connect students with their school. There are JHS students who “never went out for anything,” he said, until volleyball was offered.

Directors were split nearly half and half. Five directors – Christine McLaughlin, Larry Rothrock, Danny Snyder, Amy Wagner and Mark Wagner – spoke against establishing a team, voting down the recommendation with a 5-4 majority.

McLaughlin said she would like the board to revisit the opportunity in the future.

In other new business, the board approved:

¯ Financial reports for August and a listing of bills for payment.

¯ Issuance of general obligation bonds, series of 2017, for the purpose of funding various capital improvements of the district in the amount of $25,970,000.

¯ Agreements with school dentists Dr. William Crim, Dr. Wade Guisbert and Dr. Max Manbeck, to provide examinations at district schools.