School board prepares to spend

Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board directors breezed through a 45-minute workshop Monday night in anticipation of a major snowstorm that was heading into the region. School Superintendent John Sanville had announced there would be no school Tuesday hours before the first snowflake fell.

While there were no voting items, the board did review a few things that directors will vote on next week at the regular monthly meeting. Among those items were eight expenditures designed to improve facilities. Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds Rick Hostetler said all of the items had already been before the board as part of the district’s long-range plan.

Plans are to buy a new lawn mower for $24,650. Hostetler said the unit is a four-wheel drive, dual wheel mower used for the slopes at Pocopson Elementary School.

Another $39,540 would be spent on replacement door hardware for Hillendale Elementary School. The hardware is for security purposes and Hostetler said Hillendale is the last school to get the door upgrade.

More rooms in Hillendale, Unionville and Pocopson Elementary schools are scheduled for new carpeting. Hostetler said five classrooms in each building are being done. The material cost is $46,000.

The board will also vote whether to spend $31,000 to repair tennis court surfaces, $319,000 to repair roofing at Patton Middle School, Unionville High School and Chadds Ford Elementary School. Another $89,600 will be considered to complete the locker replacement at Patton.

Hostetler said the total cost for all the items is coming in under budget.

The board will also vote on whether to spend $235,000 on three new buses. Business Manager Bob Cochran said the district is looking to buy two 77-passenger buses and one 48-passenger bus. He said the bids were opened March 1.

The purchase of three new vans, at a cost of $90,000 will be voted on in April, Cochran said.

School board directors are also planning to vote on a resolution opposing a piece of proposed legislation that would change the way the state funds public education. The bill, SB 76, would shift school funding from property taxes to an increase in sales and income taxes.

Each proposed resolution asserts that removing the taxing authority of local school boards would disrupt the flow of money needed to operate the schools. Local taxes provide 79 percent of the district’s finances.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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