Architect questioned by Millersburg school board

By Robert Wheary, Staff Writer • csrobwheary@gmail.com

MILLERSBURG – The new representative for the firm that oversaw the Millersburg School District’s most recent renovation project got an earful from some board members about some items overlooked.
Brian Haines, an architect with Crabtree, Rohrbach and Associates, addressed the board at their Feb. 22 meeting, giving them an update on the Millersburg Middle School renovation and why it is not fully completed.
“We have been in discussion with several of the contractors about what needs to be done. Some of the items like seeding and landscape work cannot be done until the spring, but several of the prime contract items are finished,” Haines said.
The biggest critic of the plan, board member Donald Harris, questioned Haines on several items and noted that there were several problems that the architect planned to address with the board.
One such item is the lack of heating in the Johnson Memorial Library. Haines said the firm has analyzed the problem and added some lower temporary returns to the ceiling that helped.
“We are proposing to bring in new registers connecting the upper ducts with the lower registers and that should bring the heat down to the level of the library user,” Haines said.
CRA has also offered to pay for the changes, but there is also an issue in the high school’s shop area as well.
“The analysis we’ve done shows that the HVAC units are working, but using the existing duct work. The air is not coming out at a high enough velocity to reach the floor and heat the rooms,” Haines said.
At that point, board members were stunned to hear that such a plan to put in new units but keep the old duct work was done. Haines told the board he would research the matter further and have answers at the next meeting.
Harris asked Haines if it was possible to have the engineers that worked on the plan present as well to discuss the issue and Haines told them he would try to make it happen.
In other business:
— The board accepted the 2015-2016 audit for the district, prepared by the accounting firm of Boyer and Ritter, with no problems. Business manager also discussed the state Auditor General’s audit on the district’s performance from 2012 to 2015, saying that the district performed adequately in all areas with the exception of bus driver requirements.
According to the audit, the district’s transportation contract met all employment requirements except for requiring school bus drivers to complete a form which requires drivers to notify the employer if they are arrested for convicted of a criminal offense during their employment and to report the offense to the employers within 72 hours of the offense.
The district has prepared its response and corrected the action, and approved the response to be sent to the state auditor general.
— On a 6-2 vote, the board approved a memorandum of understanding between Dauphin County and the district to establish collaborative transportation procedures for foster care youth when the best interest determination indicates that the student should remain in the school of origin.’
Board members Mark Rothermel, Donald Harris, Morgan Wagner, J. Bruce Walter, Scott Roadcap and Bruce Kance voted yes on the measure, while board members Ryan Novinger and Brett White voted no. Member Margaret Lebo was absent from the meeting.
On a related vote, the board approved a transportation plan between the two entities. That passed on a 7-1 vote with Ryan Novinger casting the lone dissenting vote.
— The board unanimously voted to approve the Capital Area Intermediate Unit’s annual operating budget for 2017-2018, with Millersburg’s share being $6,556.27. Also approved was an amended Harrisburg Area Community College sponsorship agreement, lasting five years and dropping gradually from $53,269 thisyear, to $45,477 in the fifth year.
— In sports business conducted at the meeting, high school science teacher Aaron Wright was hired as the new high school football coach as a salary of $2,450, replacing Brad Hatter who resigned earlier. Wright was also approved as spring weight room supervisor and high school after school bus duty driver.
Superintendent Thomas Haupt asked the board for guidance on how to proceed as talks are underway for a co-op participation agreement for girls soccer between Millersburg and Halifax for the coming season, and the possibility for a five-year cooperative sports plan between the two schools.
Most of the board members agreed it sounded like a good plan but worried about which banner the students would compete under.
— Hired at this school board meeting were Olivia Miller as a high school English teacher, effective Feb. 27 and Lisa Schwenk as a full-time middle school learning support aide

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