Kaley Field utility costs reviewed

Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board saw preliminary estimates at Thursday's meeting for what the district will pay in some of the utility costs associated with the Kaley Field concession, restroom and ticket booth project.

The Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation is raising the money for the bulk of the project, but the district will pay the associated utility installation costs. The board will likely vote on the project budget in November.

John McDowell, a GAEF board member and chair of the Kaley Field project committee, gave the board estimates totaling about $67,500 in three categories, mobilization and administration, $16,342; sanitary sewer service, $31,093; and water service, $19,969.

Not included in the estimates were hookup, tapping, inspection and permitting fees from the Borough of Greencastle.

McDowell also gave a ballpark estimate of $14,500 for trenching for a fiberoptic line to be run to the new building so security cameras can be installed at Kaley Field.

GAEF is the midst of a $650,000 fundraising campaign and the goal is to have the new facility ready for the 2020-21 school year.

Completely outfitting and furnishing the building will raise the total to $700,000 to $800,000, McDowell said, but added that getting the building up with the bathrooms is the priority.

"We just want to get 'er done for the community," McDowell said.

Brandon Hull, the student representative to the school board, said public opinion among students toward the project is very favorable.

G-A athletes go to other places for games and meets, then come back home and "it's different," Hull said.

"Definitely we're all for it," Hull said, even the students who will no longer be in school when the building opens.

Other items 

All students at Greencastle-Antrim High School will be given an iPad in January 2020 through the equal technology opportunities (ETO) concept on the recommendation of the district's Technology Committee 2.0. Parent nights for the rollout will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 16 in the high school auditorium.

The school start time recommendation, delayed in the spring pending a legislative report, may be made at the Nov. 7 meeting.

The board heard from Mary Thomas, a parent of an autistic student at Greencastle-Antrim Middle School. She stressed the need for an autism support classroom at the high school with specifically trained staff to help help meet the needs students like her daughter.

"I feel like the superintendent that is always asking for money," Dr. Kendra Trail said. She will recommend upgrades to phone, internet and parking at the Tayamentasachta farmhouse to help the new chief financial officer, Caroline Royer, succeed by having all the business staff in one place.

Royer's office is in the farmhouse, but the three people involved in payroll, auditing and payments are housed off the high school library. The human resources office also is located in the farmhouse.

The board is looking at authorizing refinancing a previous bond refinancing if the interest rates are favorable. The bond issue can be refunded in October 2020, but paperwork needs to be started now. The district has the potential to save $164,000.