Johnstown school projects progressing
School board members updated on district-wide capital project
JOHNSTOWN — Members of the Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education’s Facilities Committee are touring district buildings to see first-hand how capital projects are progressing.
Board member Evamarie Mraz, committee chairwoman, reported to the board on capital progress Thursday at Johnstown High School.
She said the Facilities Committee recently toured Glebe Street Elementary School and was impressed.
“What a change,” Mraz said. “What a way to utilize space we didn’t know we had.”
Mraz said the projects involve ideas such as turning an old closet into a computer room.
The overall $39.6 million capital plan was approved by district voters in December 2014. The state is paying for about 95 percent of the cost of the projects involving all district buildings.
The second phase of the capital project began in April, and included asbestos removal at many of the buildings and various changes at JHS. A cafeteria addition and conditioning of the gym floor has taken place at Glebe Street Elementary School. New flooring has been installed throughout Pleasant Avenue Elementary School. Knox Junior High School is getting new doors and bathroom tiles. Warren Street Elementary School has new flooring and windows.
The Facilities Committee decided to meet at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and take a tour of Pleasant Avenue Elementary School. The full board will meet at 6:30 p.m. that day at JHS.
Mraz said her committee also plans to tour Knox Junior High School in January, and tour a different building in February.
In regular business:
∫ The board approved a shared services agreement with the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District for special education services. The agreement is retroactive to Sept. 1 and runs through June 30.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said board President Kathy Dougherty.
Sara Lewis, district director of pupil services and special programs, said the agreement is similar to one done recently between the Johnstown district and the Gloversville Enlarged School District.
“It’s all about the programming and the kids,” she said.
Lewis said these agreements involve “higher-needs kids.” She said current shared services agreements involve: three students going to Gloversville and two coming from Gloversville, two coming from the Wheelerville Union Free School District, and now one coming from Broadalbin-Perth.
∫ JHS teacher Hanz Litz said the Lions Club of Fulton County is donating $2,500 to the district’s Backpack Program.
∫ The board for the first time implemented its new “consent agenda” concept for its business meetings. The concept allows several items to be approved in a block of business.
“Can I say this is a great idea?” asked board member Ronald Beck.
∫ Public speaker Richard Baker of Route 67 objected to some of the ways the board is handling public comments, saying they aren’t “constituent friendly.” But Baker said the district is in “good shape,” praising those running the facilities department and the district itself, such as Superintendent Patricia Kilburn.
“She’s been a definite asset,” Baker said.
Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at email@example.com.