The creation of a prioritized list of projects appears to be the focus of the Palmerton Area School District.

That was the direction expressed by members of the school board's Buildings and Grounds Committee on Tuesday.

The discussion came about after the committee spoke of a possible engineering study to determine what to do with the high school stadium roof.

The roof has holes in it and is beyond repair. On top of that, repairs are needed to the bleachers as well.

Dave Rodrigues, director of facilities, said the study would cost the district about $11,000.

Committee member Barry Scherer then asked if the district could take money from out of the $26,000 it has in its capital fund to pay for the study.

However, committee member Carl Bieling said he wasn't certain that was the way for the district to approach the matter.

"To spend $11,000 to do anything, where is the rest of the money [going to come from]," Bieling said.

Rodrigues said it was a matter of paying about $250,000 for the roof and bleacher modification, versus $1 million to $1.7 million.

It would cost the district about $133,000 for the roof, and another $115,000 to make the bleachers ADA compliant, Rodrigues said.

Committee member Susan Debski then asked whether the district has a broad-range plan in place that prioritizes which projects need to take precedence.

Scherer said he understood Debski's concern, and agreed the district needs to do something along those lines.

"Money is the object, but I think the district can be progressive and not drag its feet and do nothing," Scherer said. "We need to develop some plan of what the district should do."

Scherer said it's essential that the board do whatever it can to better assess the situation.

"We need to be proactive, not reactive," he said. "I think it's irresponsible of the board to let the district crumble before us."

But, Bieling said he was concerned with what type of financial impact doing so may have on the district.

"Our hands are tied," Bieling said. "We're under the index."

Committee member Carol Dwyer said a prioritized list is the way to go.

"We need a list and we need to prioritize it," Dwyer said.

Boyce said she believes such a list can be created.

"I think we can put together some preliminaries by March," Boyce said.

Also on Tuesday, Rodrigues told the committee the installation of the new fire panel system is expected to start by mid-March, with an estimated completion date of the end of May, early June.

Last month, the board agreed to award a bid to employ CSI to install the fire panel system at a cost of $96,226 (CO-STAR pricing) to be paid for from out of the district's construction fund.

Before Buildings and Grounds, the Palmerton Area School Board held a brief meeting for general purposes.

At that time, the board unanimously agreed to approve the suspension of a professional employee for three days without pay, Feb. 4, 5, and 8, 2010, in accordance with Article 9 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.