Administrators took their first crack at updating the State College school board about Delta Middle’s educational model and specifications Monday.
The school board approved the inclusion of the Delta Middle program in the State High project Nov. 10 on the condition that the administration update the model and specifications.
Board members gave the administration a positive review.
“This is exactly what I was looking for,” board vice president Jim Leous said during the meeting.
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Board member Jim Pawelczyk motioned for the conditional approval last month.
“I think the past month has been a good opportunity for everyone that’s involved with Delta to go back and reflect on what is necessary for this 50-year decision,” Pawelczyk said. “I’m hopeful that it’s going to catch up with the rest of the project. I think the presentation tonight provided a lot of clarity for the board.”
Administrators also made a push Monday to increase Delta Middle program enrollment for the 2016-17 school year.
The Delta Middle program enrolled 80 students this year with 18 others on a waiting list. Superintendent Bob O’Donnell and Delta Director Jon Downs proposed that enrollment be enrolled to 120 students in two years.
“I think we’re trying to be responsive to family needs in the local area,” Downs said. “I think our job is to respond to the needs of the public, and there’s a heightened demand for this program.”
The proposed enrollment increase, which the board is scheduled to vote on Jan. 26, will affect the State High project.
District physical plant Director Ed Poprik said current designs take into account the potential enrollment increase. If the board does not approve it, the project design team would scale back its plans.
In other business, the board approved renovations for the Panorama Village building to go to bid. The vote, however, was 4-3, with the board split on long-term plans for the project.
Board members David Hutchinson, Penni Fishbaine, Scott Fozard and Leous voted for it, but Pawelczyk, Ann McGlaughlin and President Amber Concepcion were opposed. Board members Laurel Zydney and Dorothea Stahl were not present for the vote.
The estimated cost for the renovation project is $1.7 million, and the board could choose to not approve a bid.
School district business administrator Randy Brown also presented a preliminary 2015-16 budget proposal, which will not be brought to the board for approval until June 8.
The proposed budget includes a 1.9 percent base tax increase on top of a 2.6 percent referendum tax increase, which would cost households an extra $127.81.
In other business, the board approved four courses to be added for the 2015-16 school year: Science Strategies for Biology, African American History, Advanced Architectural Drafting and Design 4 and Informational Technology Entrepreneurship.
The board also approved the 2015-16 school district calendar. Classes will begin Sept. 1.