Wyoming Area approves safer school entry


First Posted: 3/5/2013

EXETER — Wyoming Area School Board members are feeling the budget crunch.

Tempers flared at Tuesday night’s special session, which was called because last week’s board meeting wasn’t properly advertised. One item of contention was a motion to approve the appointment of Quad Three Group Architects and Engineers to design a new, more secure entrance to the Secondary Center.

Board members discussed the pros and cons of the proposed project, which is currently estimated at $100,000. The project is intended to create a vestibule with a holding area for school visitors.

Board member Estelle Campenni felt she didn’t know enough about the proposed project. “I don’t believe it’s the time to make these decisions,” she said.

Campenni referred to a recent assessment of the school’s safety by the Pennsylvania State Police. The findings won’t be sent to the school for another four to six weeks.

Superintendent Ray Bernardi reminded board members that the new vestibule project had been approved by both the building and the finance committees. “It’s the board’s decision now,” he said.

Board President John Bolin said that the project was a start to deter people from coming into the school with a gun.

Board member Frank Casarella said, “We have a responsibility to make sure our kids are in a safe place.”

The motion passed with Campenni and board member Mary Louise Degnan voting against it.

Later in the meeting, Campenni and Bernardi disagreed again over the lack of a working budget for 2013-2014.

The mention of a budget brought other board members into the discussion. Bolin had to call order with the stern command, “No more bickering!”

In other matters:

* Teachers picketed the meeting again over the lack of a contract.

* The board waived fees for the use of district facilities for two functions, one sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America and the other by the Kiwanis Club.

* The board approved the request of Lisa Barrett, former teachers union president, for medical sabbatical leave for this semester.

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