WILKES-BARRE — The Wilkes-Barre Area School District filled some pretty big staffing holes this week.
The board appointed Robert Makaravage as director of special education and instruction — consolidating two positions. The district has lacked a full-time special education director since May, when the board accepted the resignation of Robert Mehalick.
Mehalick accepted the job of superintendent at Carbondale Area School District last month. He is a current member of the Hazleton Area School Board, and is running for re-election there. He won a nomination on both party tickets, making it almost certain he will win in November. State law does not prohibit him from being on the Hazleton board while employed at another district as superintendent.
Wilkes-Barre Area had also begun the year short several school nurses thanks to retirements. On Monday, the board hired Michelle Binker as a long-term substitute school nurse and Maure Mattick and Sara Woznock as full-time school nurses.
The board also recently:
• Hired Rainey & Rainey, Certified Public Accountants, to conduct the annual, state-mandated independent audit of district financial records.
• Approved a change order in a contract with Dunmore Roofing and Supply Inc. for work at GAR Memorial High due to discovery of deteriorated plywood sheathing, at an added cost of $7,418. Solicitor Ray Wendolowski said the contract had been negotiated without cost of plywood replacements to save money by only paying to replace pieces discovered to be in bad shape.
• Approved payment of $10,875 to Mark Callahan Construction LLC for work at Meyers High related to problems with an overhead walkway threatening an underpass used by athletes entering Memorial Stadium. The company built a protection shed over the entrance (under the walkway) and built 10-foot walls at each end of the elevated walkway to prevent students from using it beyond those points. The walkway has long served as an emergency exit from the gym and cafeteria, but concrete and metal under the walkway has deteriorated enough to be a hazard.
• Approved a contract not to exceed $8,600 with Conrad Siegel Actuaries of Harrisburg to help assure the district stays in compliance with the Affordable Care Act.