LEVELS TWP. — The Wilkes-Barre Area School District’s new athletic facilities — the stadium, fieldhouse and additional practice fields — are about two weeks behind schedule, the school board learned at the start of Monday’s monthly meeting, but should be ready for the spring sports all season.
District Engineer/Physical Plant Director Michael Krzywicki said the delays were mainly due to supply issues. The stadium was ready enough last month to host home soccer games and other sporting events, although without a field home, the district uses portable toilets and sets up concession stands under the home team’s stands.
Given the near-full crowds in a roughly 3,500-seat stadium, this has resulted in long lines and some minor issues under the stands, Superintendent Brian Costello said, but those issues will be resolved once the project is complete.
Several appointments were on the agenda.
Michael Lehman and Maurice Lamoreux were hired as school resource/police officers, Bridget Galle as a long-term substitute elementary school teacher, and Brittany Hess as an elementary school teacher.
Five part-time teachers have been appointed who will be paid 20 hours per week with federal COVID-19 grant funds for the current school year only: Mary Coulter, Matthew Davison, Ernestine Huntes, Mayra Martinez and Anna Mae Yellend.
Aloysius Polius was appointed as alternate administrator and Mary Sonny as alternate transitional guard. The board is also increasing pay for safety greeters from $10 an hour to $11 an hour. Superintendent Brian Costello said the district has nine greeters in the morning for about three hours and nine in the afternoon for about the same time.
In sports, the board appointed Eilish Hoban as head coach of swim school, Joshua Anstett and Patrick Nolan as assistant coaches for boys’ varsity football on half salaries each, and Morgan Luton and John Hooper as assistant coaches in wrestling junior high on half salaries each.
The board also:
• Approved an agreement with Bayada Home Health Care, Inc. to provide basic nursing care to students at a rate of $51 per hour through June 20, 2023, as required by the district.
• Amended an agreement with Aveanna Healthcare to set hourly rates for home care assistants/certified nurses at US$30, US$55 and US$65.
• Approval of an agreement with Luzerne County Community College for the Early College Program for Young Scholars, retroactive to July 1 of this year through June 30, 2025, with automatic renewal every five years, unless either party terminates the agreement. The program allows eligible students in grades 10 through 12 with a GPA of at least 2.0 to attend college courses and earn college credit.
• Hired BerkOne to process, print and mail the Homestead and Farmstead Act 1 applications at a cost of 42 cents per application plus postage. Law 1 is the state law that uses funds raised from legalized gambling to reduce property taxes for eligible home and farm owners by exempting a portion of the taxes due each year.
• Approved an agreement with Johnson Controls Fire Protection, LP, for fire alarm testing and inspection in the Mackin Elementary building through August 31, 2023 at a cost of $7,550.
• Approved an agreement with ARM Group LLC to provide building materials testing services for the construction of the ticket booths and fieldhouse at the new stadium in front of the consolidated high school in Plains Township at an estimated cost of $11,000. The order includes soil, concrete, asphalt and steel investigations.
• Approved change orders totaling $31,841 to four companies – Everon Electrical Contractors, Inc., Myco Mechanical, Inc. (for plumbing), Panzitta Enterprises and Keystone Sports Construction – for work on the stadium and fieldhouse. The bulk of the money goes to Keystone Sports, $21,200 for a tarmac adjustment, running mat and four 15-foot aluminum benches, although an alteration order with the company actually reduced costs by $7,525 by installing fences on the spectator stands was deleted.
• Approved agreement with Stell Enterprises, Inc. to patch potholes at Kistler Elementary at a proposed price of $10,689.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish