by John M. Burkhart, Superintendent of School
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! March is the month for the wearing of the green and, in the case of school districts, preparing the annual budget for the spending of the green. The Board and Administration are working diligently at creating a responsible spending plan to submit to the voters in May. Increased expenditures and decreased revenues are making it difficult to hold the line in all budget areas. More information will appear about the budget in the April and May Gazettes.
Last November the voters approved an addition to the school that will house an elevator and a handicapped bathroom. The additional entrance will allow any person access to the school without encountering a barrier. A person may enter the gymnasium on the ground floor or take the elevator to the first or second floor. Stairs are also provided for access to and from the first and second floors, because egress must be provided to escape from a fire or when the elevator does not work. In addition to the elevator, a lift will be installed to give access to the stage area. Lastly, a fire alarm system will be added to monitor the bus garage and technology classrooms.
Stan Cunningham has been hired by the Board of Education to oversee the project. His title is Clerk of the Works. As such, Stan is the School District’s contact person for the architects, engineers and contractors. It is his job to ensure that the project is completed according to the architect’s plans and hopefully on time. Stan’s skills and experience will allow him to competently perform his function. Stan is already on the job. He was present when the drillers were on site to take core soil samples to determine the type of foundation needed for the addition. Stan has also accompanied the various engineers who are working on the final plans for the building. I have had nothing but positive comments about how Stan has related to everyone working on the project. You should look for construction to start this summer.
In other construction news, we recently made the last payment to the contractor for the main building roofing replacement project and submitted the appropriate final documentation to the State Education Department. This means we will now receive the final building aid payment for this project.
You may have noticed the change in our phone system. It is now possible to leave a voice mail message for any of the school employees. If a secretary does not answer the phone, the computer will answer with a menu of choices. The caller simply selects the extension number of the person he or she wishes to contact or dials “10” for the secretary to answer. If the person calling does not contact the secretary, a recorded message from the employee whose extension is accessed is heard. The caller may then leave a voice mail message. We hope this change improves communication for those of you who need to contact someone at the school.
Our cable channel 20 “ACS Kids Report” television program continues to be a delight to the MTC Cable viewers. Wendy Redden advises the media club that produces the video seen each day at noon and 7:00 PM. Featured on the program are: The Calendar of School Events, The ACS Sports Report, The Word of The Week, What’s Laurie Got Cooking in the Kitchen, The Sixth Grade Report, and a feature story from a classroom. Some of the student reporters seen on the “Kids Report” are: Lacey Posey, Carrianne Fairbairn, Brittany McAdams, Cheyenne Tait, Mackenzie Alexander, Melody Grapes, Anthony Bain, Hattie Brown, Shyleana Quackenbush, and Justin Weaver.
Congratulations to our championship Boys Junior Varsity Basketball team for a job well done! They completed a successful season with one loss to Downsville and secured the Delaware Mountain League Championship by defeating Davenport in the crossover tournament held at Stamford. Members of the team are: Robert Baehr, Zach Finch, Paul Eisele, Mike Batiste, Sam Fundaro, Mike Winner, Dillon Knapp, Casey Sidorowicz, Adam Barrett, Ryan Little, and Zeke Fundaro. The managers are Cody Ruff and Mariah Ruff. The team is coached by Margaret Brown and David Ruff. Thanks to the team and coaches for the effort and time spent in reaching this marvelous achievement for Andes Central School. ~