A contract is expected to be awarded for work on the Arthur Rann Elementary School roof by the second week of February so that replacement can take place this summer, Galloway Township Public Schools Business Administrator Tim Kelley said during a presentation on district and board of education goals Monday night, Jan. 28, at the middle school.
The bid has already been advertised, and the unsealing of the bids should take place in the middle of next month, Kelley said. He reminded the Board of Education and the voters that the project was being paid through capital reserves, and the taxpayers would not see a raise in taxes.
The Roland Rogers and Smithville elementary schools also need new roofs, but because voters defeated two referendums in December of 2011 and in the spring of 2012, the district is not able to replace all three roofs.
“We are able to fix any problems as they come along,” Kelley said. “Substantial repairs were already done to Smithville and Arthur Rann in the fall.”
Kelley and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Annette Giaquinto gave the presentations during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting before giving a preliminary presentation on the 2013-14 budget, a month earlier than they did last year.
Other district improvements include the need to upgrade air conditioning units in district server rooms; the need to re-carpet selected classrooms, and in some cases, to replace carpet with tile; fixing the aged phone system throughout the district; replacing one maintenance vehicle; upgrade existing network switches; and sand/refinish the Smithville School gym floor.
The district has put its plans to install solar panels on hold, but a “tough decision” must be made on equipment in the cafeteria.
“A lot of the equipment in the cafeteria is original to the building,” Kelley said. “We have to perform ongoing repairs. Code requires food service to be self sufficient, and we must decide if it’s viable to continue with this equipment.”
Kelley and Giaquinto also discussed the school bus consortium, headed by the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District, that the district is a part of. A number of incidents in which school buses were late, two school bus accidents and a report on safety concerning Integrity Transportation led the district to consider other options as far as bus companies are concerned.
They’ve also met with Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District representatives about the possible consolidation of school bus routes, Kelley said. He added there have been no problems with the bus company with lateness this month.
“There’s been a marked improvement with that,” Kelley said.
Kelley and Giaquinto also discussed new standards for teaching students, standards for evaluating teachers and upgrades to technology, including the use of iPads, Chrome Books and Surface.
“We’ve formed a technology committee to make sure we don’t go too far too fast,” Giaquinto said. “Everyone might not get the same devices.”
The district is also looking to expand its wireless connection.
Despite giving an update on the budget process, which includes negotiating with teachers’ unions, Kelley and Giaquinto could offer no hard budget numbers.
One of the key factors includes state aid, which won’t be announced until Gov. Chris Christie gives his budget address at the end of February.
The district will then formulate a budget and introduce it to the Board of Education. Despite voters no longer going to the polls to approve the budget, the district must still hold a public hearing before it can approve the budget.
However, if the proposed budget goes over the 2 percent tax levy cap, it will go before the voters.