Northwest administrators, school board lauded for post-fire efforts

Note: This story has been corrected to reflect that a full-time technology support technician has not been hired.

UNION TWP. — With classes now back in session following an August fire at the middle/high school, Northwest Area administrators and the school board itself were lauded for their efforts.

“The board and administrations need to be commended … for getting the school back in session so soon after the fire,” said Superintendent James McGovern at a recent meeting.

Board chairman Gary Boberick added: “Fantastic work by the teachers and administration was central in getting us back in class.”

Classes were set to start Aug. 27 for secondary students, but that date had to be pushed back to Sept. 10.

As far as progress goes in restoring the fire-damaged areas, high school principal Ryan Miner said classrooms in one wing should be ready for occupancy by Oct. 1. Miner, however, declined to elaborate on the fire’s cause.

“Because of an ongoing investigation, it’s still considered accidental,” Miner said.

On the day of the blaze, Huntington Valley Fire Chief William Miller said a maintenance crew had been waxing floors in the building, but he wouldn’t speculate if that had anything to do with the fire.

Boberick said all of the repairs so far are covered by insurance, and there has been no outlay in money by the board.

However, it did approve a series of payments to contractors who executed other improvement projects within the high school complex, including:

• $8,450 to Schaedler-Yesco Distributing for first-floor lighting;

• $4,504 to Tomlinson Bonberger for athletic field maintenance;

• $99,794 to Third Dimension Specialties for second-floor lockers;

• $ 28,513 to Designer Acoustics Inc. for first-floor ceiling installation.

In addition, the board acted on these personnel matters:

• Approved the resignation of Tiffany Adams as a paraprofessional;

• Appointed Tiffany Gregory as part-time paraprofessional;

• Appointed Desiree Morris as a language arts chairperson;

• Reinstated school director Alton Farver as a student van driver;

• Also approved Bruce Brocious, Penny O’Donnell and Jonelle Tobin as bus/van drivers;

• Appointed Paul Hufford, Andy Hanadel and Jonathan Wilson as junior high basketball coaches.

Firefighters work to vent the roof near the main entrance of Northwest Area High School in Union Township during an Aug. 18 fire that delayed the start of classes for secondary students by two weeks.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_TTL081918NorthwestFire_4CMYK.jpgFirefighters work to vent the roof near the main entrance of Northwest Area High School in Union Township during an Aug. 18 fire that delayed the start of classes for secondary students by two weeks. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

 

By Tom Huntington

For Times Leader