BEAR CREEK TWP. – Items related to the construction of a new school complex were on the agenda when the Bear Creek Community Charter School Board of Trustees met Thursday.
The board approved a development agreement with the Bear Creek Foundation, which owns the school property.
The agreement spells out the responsibilities for both parties as the construction plans go forward, detailing that the school will contribute cash and the foundation will take out the loan with the Department of Agriculture for the construction.
The completed school will be leased back to the charter school, Chief Executive Officer Jim Smith said.
The board also approved the proposal from Rosenn, Jenkins and Greenwald LLP to provide legal services associated with the school construction, for an amount not to exceed $38,000, and discussed the search process for architects.
The large pool of applicants has been whittled down to four finalists, Smith said, and school officials have been visiting schools designed by each to help with the decision, which they hope to make by the end of the year. Teachers will also visit the schools to get ideas about classroom design, Smith said.
Gail George, a former school employee who now volunteers at the school, asked the board to include an auditorium in the plans, and pointed out that there is no large gathering place in the area and all concerts, graduations and other functions need to be held elsewhere.
Board President Dave Blazejewski noted an auditorium is one of the most expensive features to add, but it would be considered. He said the architects had offered several options, including putting a stage in the cafeteria area and designing the school with room left to add an auditorium in the future.
Principal Brian Dugas reported the seventh- and eighth-grade enrichment class will also be involved in the new construction process.
The students will be asked to design their ideal school, incorporating various classroom subjects as they work, Dugas said, such as using math concepts to figure out how much carpeting would be needed.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of the Common Core Mathematics framework from the Luzerne Intermediate Unit 18 at a cost of $4,000.