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Last updated: March 22. 2013 12:02AM - 2353 Views

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SHICKSHINNY — Although it was described as “very preliminary in discussions,” officials of the Northwest Area School District said Wednesday night they are considering a bond issue to finance capital improvement projects for several schools described by Board President Randy Tomasacci as “getting old.”


To emphasize his point, Tomasacci said the last new school construction project was the Hunlock Creek building, which dates back to 1979.


Officials are considering borrowing $1.5 million to $3 million, Tomasacci said. Albert Melone, financial adviser, and Superintendent Ronald Grevera noted that because interest rates are low, the timing might be right to “create some cash flow” to make repairs.


Melone stressed, however, that the matter is still in the investigative stage.


In another matter, Grevera said he is in the process of developing a Northwest Virtual Academy to provide students currently enrolled in cybercharter programs an alternative to cyberschool and to “encourage them to get back to Northwest.”


A public meeting on the proposed academy has been scheduled for April 4.


According to the district’s financial report, Northwest remitted $26,624 this month for students who are enrolled in the Agora Cyber Charter School.


In other discussions: The board, on a 7-0 vote with two directors absent, retained David Bacher as assistant high school principal, succeeding Joseph Rasmus, who has been promoted to elementary principal. Bacher comes to Northwest from the Columbia-Montour Career and Technical Center. He also was a teacher in Mount Carmel and Danville.


The board approved a schedule revision that lists graduation day as June 17. It was announced that a Northwest alumnus Michael F. Fontinell, class of 1988, has accepted an invitation to serve as commencement speaker. Fontinell serves as environmental manager of the J. M. Huber Corp. of Etowah, Tenn.


Letters of retirement were accepted from Peter Malischak, a teacher-coach who served for 38 years, and Deborah A. Kishbaugh, effective at the conclusion of the current term. Requests for leaves of absence also were approved for Kacey Piatt and Patricia Kotsur.


Director Gina Schwartz said there is a need for additional teaching staff in the fifth grade. Some classes are projected to have as many as 38 students, she said.


High school Principal Ryan Miner said results of the Keystone Exams will be available later this month. Additional testing will be conducted in May, he said.


The board approved a $1,200 payment to Frank A. Grabowski for subdivision work on a parcel of land related to the pending sale of the former Garrison School.


The board accepted an audit report from the state auditor general for fiscal years of 2007 and 2008 was accepted.


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