Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bear Creek Charter OKs new-school talks

March 16. 2013 11:40PM
JANINE UNGVARSKY, Times Leader Correspondent

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BEAR CREEK TWP. -- A thorough review of the proposed agreement with the architects who will design the new Bear Creek Community Charter School took up most of the meeting for the school's board of trustees Monday.

The board worked through the draft agreement with Hemmler + Camayd Architects and authorized attorney Mark Van Loon and the school's CEO, Jim Smith, to negotiate the final agreement. The board considered ways to protect the school if an anticipated loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture falls through and addressed areas of board concern in the agreement to resolve during the negotiations.

Smith said the next step after the negotiations will be to poll the board to get a consensus on the negotiated terms before it is signed, and the board will then ratify it at its next meeting on Feb. 7. Smith said the board will also start deciding on big-picture items such as the number of athletic fields and whether the estimated $10 million school will include an auditorium.

In other business, the board discussed the effects of various government mandates and requirements on the school budget, including the new federal health-care law and the Pennsylvania School Employees Retirement fund. Bear Creek's contribution to the retirement fund will increase from 12.36 percent to 16.93 percent in the next year, while reimbursements the state has provided in the past may dry up.

The board also accepted Button Oil Co.'s heating oil bid of $3.319, a decrease of 13 cents.

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