Andover Regional District Board of Education Discusses Improvements For The New School Year
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 • 8:14am
ANDOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ - At the August board meeting of the Andover Regional School District, members reviewed the projects completed during the summer and considered a new project to improve safety.
During President Linda Gianni’s committee report, she described the new athletic field built in Newton. The grand opening of the field will take place on September 1 with games in girls’ soccer, boys’ soccer, field hockey, and football under the new lights of the field.
Successful teams of past years will be recognized during the half times of each of these games.
Part of the discussion of the new field included the pricing of the games. In the past, only varsity football games charged admission. However, with the new maintenance and electrical needs, the board suggested that the field charge for all night games. Official pricing and times are still being determined.
Gianni provided the annual report for the class of 2012 graduates from Newton High School. Of the 181 students, 42 percent went on to a four-year college, and 48 percent went on to two-year colleges. Gianni also mentioned the records from the early 1990's when only 19 percent of students went on to college.
The Newton Board of Education continues to working with the New Jersey School Boards Association to become a certified board.
After the recent energy audit, the district began investigating way to conserve money and become more efficient. The interim superintendent, Peter Merluzzi, made a proposal to switch to natural gas from the oil that the school currently uses for fuel.
The natural gas line is active and would run part of the way to the school. The district would pay to complete the project and run it to the current burners. The district was quoted $70,000 for the project. Merluzzi stated that according to studies, this project would save $40,000 in the first year alone.
After further investigation, the district learned that they already had the correct dual burners installed, bringing the estimate down to $30,000. The district is also hoping to connect another school to natural gas
“For a $30,000 investment, we could look at a yearly savings of $70,000 [between the two schools],” Merluzzi said.
The next step in the process is to receive more quotes. The district needs to develop criteria and qualifications so that these quotes are relative and show exactly what needs to be done in this situation.
“This is something that we cannot pass up right now,” Merluzzi said. “We are looking at other conservation measures, but they would not save as much as this project.”
As the district looks into improving safety during high bus traffic times, the Andover Township Committee suggested adding a roadway for the buses to exit behind the school.
This roadway would only be used during the 20 minutes at the beginning and end of the school day which have the highest bus traffic. Buses would circle in front of Florence M. Burd School as they do now, and then the one-way road would be go behind the school and exit onto the street behind the school.
Citizens questioned the use of the street behind the school because it is a dead end street. The Board clarified that the buses would be turning right out of the school’s road, and they explained that the rest of the day the roadway would be chained off from public use.
Since the Andover Township Municipal Building approached the School District about the project, they have agreed to pay for the project, provided the school pay for the cost of the blacktop.
Finally, the board reported on the superintendent search. They received 28 applications and 20 of those had the needed qualifications. The first round of interviews will take place September 10, 11, and 12. The board is developing the list of questions for these first interviews, and the state board of education is helping to develop this list.