Pottstown School Board To Vote On $125K Electrical Outlet Upgrade

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Pottstown School Board’s facilities committee will ask the full board to spend about $125,000 to install an additional 263 outlets in classrooms at Barth Elementary School, the renovation of which was just completed in September.

The much-debated change-order will also replace seven “1950s-era” electrical panels with three modern ones, said Facilities Director Robert Kripplebauer, who made the recommendation.

The outlet changes were requested by teachers, who do not believe the older outlets in the building are adequate or in the right locations. Further, they are not comparable with the more modern outlets that will be in the renovated rooms at Lincoln, Rupert and Franklin elementary schools.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140415/pottstown-school-board-to-vote-on-125k-electrical-outlet-upgrade

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Pottstown Elementary Costs Rising By $2M, $10M Borrowing Set For Monday

POTTSTOWN — As the Pottstown school board prepares to borrow the second $10 million needed for the renovation and expansion of its elementary schools, it is doing so in the face of $2 million or more in change orders and additional costs.

As The Mercury reported in May, the renovation work on Barth Elementary School was well underway when the school board was told the cost of a new roof was not included in the project — an additional cost estimated at another $665,000.

In August, The Mercury reported that wiring for new computer and data systems were not included in the bid for the renovation of Franklin, Lincoln and Rupert elementary schools — an additional cost of an estimated $375,000.

On Thursday night the full board was informed that the cost for additional electrical outlets, boxes, panel boards and the replacement of old wiring at the three schools has added another $388,601 to the price of the projects.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20131020/pottstown-elementary-costs-rising-by-2m-10m-borrowing-set-for-monday

Pottstown Water Main Break Leaves Residents, Barth Elementary Without Water

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN. PA — A 20-inch water main ruptured Thursday night on Berks Street and left both residents and Barth Elementary School without water.

Water could be seen in small jets coming out from under the street on the 100 block of Berks Street near Superior Metal Products Co. after the call came through to Pottstown Fire Police around 6:30 p.m.

The fire police blocked the street at West King Street and Glasgow Street, initially.

Borough crews on scene could not determine as of press time what caused the break. Someone reportedly was searching for a valve around 8:30 p.m. and the torrent of water began slowing as the night went on.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131018/pottstown-water-main-break-leaves-residents-barth-elementary-without-water

$10M Borrowing Next Step In Renovation Project For Pottstown Schools

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — With the remaining construction now underway at three elementary schools, the Pottstown School Board is expected to vote at Monday night’s meeting to borrow another $10 million to pay for the project.

The board is expected to authorize the preparation of the bond documents at Monday’s meeting and the auction will occur on Oct. 21, said board member Dennis Wausnock, chairman of the school board’s finance committee.

Work on Franklin, Lincoln and Rupert elementary schools began in May and continues with students back in Lincoln and Franklin and the population of Rupert being taught in the vacant Edgewood Elementary building, which was officially closed in June.

Barth Elementary School, which was officially re-dedicated in a ceremony Saturday, was the first school to be renovated although, unlike the other three, it was not expanded.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/social-affairs/20130921/10m-borrowing-next-step-in-renovation-project-for-pottstown-schools

Wiring For Pottstown Schools Renovation Could Cost $375,000

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — You can add new data system wiring to the things not included in the $14 million price tag for renovation and expansion of three elementary schools in the borough.

Thursday night, school board Vice President Robert Hartman Jr., who is also the chairman of the board’s facilities committee, reported that his committee is recommending the additional spending of as much as $375,000 “for data wiring devices installation at Franklin, Lincoln and Rupert elementary schools” according to the agenda of Thursday’s meeting.

There was no discussion among the full board, or questions asked by any of the board members, so it was not immediately clear why this was not included in the budget for the broader expansion/renovation project.

Work began this summer on the renovations and expansion at the three schools, while work is now being completed at Barth Elementary School, where work began a year earlier.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130816/NEWS01/130819430/wiring-for-pottstown-schools-renovation-could-cost-375-000#full_story

Laura Bush Foundation Grant To Barth Elementary Is Only One In PA

First Lady Laura Bush observes a fifth grade m...

First Lady Laura Bush observes a fifth grade math class at Lovejoy Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — Barth Elementary School has received a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, the only school in all of Pennsylvania to receive a grant from the former First Lady’s foundation.

Principal Ryan Oxenford was recently notified of the award.

In 2013, the foundation awarded over $1 million in grants to schools to update and diversify their library book collections.

“This is an incredible opportunity to expand the resources in our library.  The grant approval could not have come at a better time with the unveiling of our newly renovated library this fall,” said Oxenford.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130705/NEWS01/130709680/laura-bush-foundation-grant-to-barth-is-only-one-in-pa

Pottstown Releases New Elementary Attendance Zone Maps, Meeting Tonight At 7:30

POTTSTOWN — In advance of tonight’s school board meeting, at which the proposed four new elementary school attendance zones will be discussed, Superintendent Jeff Sparagana has agreed to The Mercury’s request to make them public for inspection.

The meeting will be held in the Pottstown High School cafeteria and begins at 7:30 p.m.

Sparagana said the information was released to give parents and residents an opportunity to look at and digest some of the basic information prior to tonight’s presentation.

Attached to this article, readers should find a map of the current five-school configuration, a map showing the borders of the four new attendance areas, as well as close-up maps of all four attendance areas.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130221/NEWS01/130229834/pottstown-releases-new-elementary-attendance-zone-maps-meeting-is-tonight-at-7-30-#full_story

Pottstown Council, School Board Want To Work Closer

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up to Acting Superintendent Jeff Sparagana for being proactive!

POTTSTOWN — When it comes to getting along, it could be said that the borough and school district governments in Pottstown sometimes get along like siblings on a long car trip.

Acting Schools Superintendent Jeff Sparagana is among the first to admit that and did so Wednesday when he told borough council that “it is important to acknowledge and recognize there have been breakdowns in the relationship between the borough and the school district in the past.”

But he was also the first to offer an olive branch in pursuit of a new era of cooperation.

Appearing before council during the Wednesday work session, Sparagana prefaced a presentation of the district’s land development plans for Rupert, Franklin and Lincoln elementary schools with a statement — and an apology.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121209/NEWS01/121209423/pottstown-council-school-board-want-to-work-closer#full_story

Pottstown School District: Barth Project Costs Higher Due To Borough Consultant

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s Note:  This is priceless.  So the borough turns around and hires the same people to review Codes for $33,000.00.  Is somebody related to these people or what???  Is Evan Brandt the only person in Pottstown who researches anything? Wasn’t Barth already behind schedule when the borough hired the same outfit for the Codes study?  Does the right hand not know what the left hand is doing?

POTTSTOWN, PA — The Conshohocken engineering firm hired by the borough to suggest ways to make the codes department more efficient has caused delays and may cost borough taxpayers “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in cost overruns at the Barth Elementary School construction project, school officials said last week.

A call to Remington, Vernick and Beach Engineers seeking comment Monday was not returned before press time.

During the past several school board meetings, the district’s architect, construction managers and administration officials have made references to delays in getting the Barth Elementary School renovation project started.

Those delays, they said, have been due to requests and requirements made by Remington, Vernick & Beach.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20121023/NEWS01/121029818/pottstown-schools-barth-project-costs-higher-due-to-borough-consultant-&pager=full_story

Pottstown School Board Rejects Second Look At School Project Plans

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — With a 7-3 vote Thursday night, the school board rejected a proposal to suspend work on designing additions to three elementary schools to allow the potential to save as much as $6.5 million to be explored.

The proposal, made by school board member Thomas Hylton, sought to take advantage of a recent change in long-standing state policy that was made with the passage of the most recent budget in Harrisburg.

Throughout the many years of discussion on the elementary school project, it has been state policy that it will not provide reimbursement to any school construction project that does not eliminate the use of modular classrooms.

The need to meet this requirement is among those driving the decision to add between 12 to 14 classrooms in additions to Rupert, Lincoln and Franklin elementary schools, which is where the $24 million project now stands.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120803/NEWS01/120809803/pottstown-school-board-rejects-second-look-at-school-project-plans&pager=full_story

Pottstown Buy Local Campaign Gets Off The Ground With Big Results

Captain Buy Local is pleased to announce that the two winning buildings of the May Pottstown School District Buy Local initiative are Barth Elementary with a whopping $17,477 spent locally in May 2012, and Pottstown Senior High School with an incredible $10,773 spent in the Pottstown community within the month of May 2012!!! As a special thank-you to these two buildings for their amazing commitment to supporting the Pottstown community, various downtown restaurants are treating their staff and faculty to lunch this week!

As a thank you to the Administration for coming out of the gate so strong and hitting the first milestone of $250 spent locally – setting the pace for the month-long initiative – all Administration building employees will be receiving a “Buy Local” lunch bag!

The grand total spent during the month of May is $55,065! WOW – mind-blowing!

AND… … because the PSD “Shop Smart.Buy Local.Shop Pottstown” initiative was such a huge successful, Captain Buy Local announced this morning on The Buzz – 1370 am (Pottstown’s very own local radio station extraordinaire) that is now a DISTRICT WIDE WIN!!

That means that for the remaining school days ALL PSD students will have the option to wear school appropriate attire in lieu of the regular mandatory school uniforms, and ALL PSD staff and faculty will have the option of wearing school appropriate shorts or jeans and sneakers!!

How awesome is, Captain Buy Local? He’s the best superhero, bar none!

A huge “thank you” Pottstown School District! You have set an incredible precedence with your commitment, passion and hard-earned dollars! We hope the next Buy Local business to accept our challenge can match your level of community pride and loyalty!