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Despite complaints, renovated gymnasium determined to be OK in Palmerton Jr High

Published April 03. 2013 05:01PM

Despite complaints to the contrary, the condition of Palmerton Area Junior High School's renovated gymnasium floor is of no concern.

Superintendent Carol Boyce made the announcement Tuesday at a workshop meeting of the board of school directors in response to a concern expressed last month.

At that time, resident Kelly Bollinger questioned how it was decided to pick the particular floor. Bollinger said his son has played on it for the past four months, and its condition was poor.

Resident Mary Jo King said that she, too, observed an instance where a boy went to stop and slipped, causing him to slide.

As a follow-up, Boyce said maintenance worker Manny Mendes and building Principal Paula Husar met last week with Bollinger to see the floor up close and personal.

"Kelly apologized for saying anything before checking it out," Boyce said. "They couldn't find anything [wrong with the floor]."

In October, the board announced that about three-quarters of the floor covering of the renovated gymnasium would be torn up over this past Thanksgiving holiday. Prior to that, the project had cost the district $366,200.

The board learned of that situation as part of a project review presentation from Rob Sarnowski and Tim Sisock of Barry Isett & Associates.

Sisock told the board that a portion of the gym had to be pulled apart because some lines were not in accordance with central documents.

Boyce said at that time there were errors in the painted lines, and that they occurred because the contractor didn't follow the diagram.

Last April, the board agreed to award the project to CMG of Easton, per the recommendation of Sisock and Sarnowski.

The project called for a multi-prime contract for soil stabilization and renovations to the gymnasium, including demolition, concrete milling and overlay, new athletic flooring, telescoping bleachers, and finishes.

As a result, the soil under the floor was stabilized, the floor leveled and recovered with a new athletic surface, the bleachers replaced, and the gym painted.

The gym now includes ADA accessible seating; a new multipurpose athletic flooring incorporating a basketball court; volleyball court; two practice volleyball courts; and a new scoreboard.

Also on Tuesday, Sherrie Fenner, director of curriculum and instruction, discussed the potential purchase of junior high school technology books.

Fenner said that in response to the new curriculum, 31 new textbooks would need to be purchased at a cost of $65 each. She said the books would be in line with the version currently utilized at the high school.

Director Josann Harry suggested "I think we should order 35 so we have extra."

Fenner, who noted the district would pay for the textbooks from out of its Accountability Block Grant funds, said extra books could be ordered.

In an unrelated matter, Deb Cooke, president of the Football Parent's Club, spoke with the board about a donation that is a combined effort between the organization and Palmerton Garage Door.

As part of the work, Cooke said Palmerton Garage Door would install two new window doors at a cost of about $900. In turn, they asked that a sign be put up to promote their business, which will cost the club about $300.

The matter is expected to be listed on the April 23 school board consent agenda.

Boyce praised Cooke for her efforts over the years.

"I'd publicly like to thank Deb for all of the work she's done with the football parents," she said. "She has been an absolute joy to work with, and I really want to thank Deb for her cooperation."

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