The South Eastern School Board heard multiple options for renovating its elementary schools at its recent meeting.
Superintendent Rona Kaufmann said the administration will recommend renovating all three elementary schools rather than building one, new, centralized elementary school.
And even then, there's no guarantee the renovations, which should be in the $4-$7.5 million range, will be done, Kaufmann said.
That's because South Eastern is facing a Sept. 30 deadline to submit any plans on school construction projects that would be eligible for partial state reimbursement. The state is imposing a moratorium after that point.
It's worth it to at least get the plans in before the deadline in order to be eligible and then figure it out from there, Kaufmann said.
She added she does not like the idea of going away from the neighborhood elementary school model, and the board tends to agree.
"Educationally, that's not sound," Kaufmann said.
EI Associates made the presentation at Thursday's committee meetings for updating or replacing Delta-Peach Bottom, Stewartstown and Fawn Area elementaries. The district's strong bond rating and fiscal position means it could borrow money and not necessarily have to increase the mill rate, Kaufmann said.
"But everyone is hesitant to borrow in the current economy," she said. The board will meet again at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20, at which time they will vote on whether to further pursue renovations. The elementary schools are aging and always in need of maintenance, Kaufmann said, although capacity hasn't been an issue.
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