HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Hollidaysburg Area School Board unanimously approved its five-year capital reserve plan for the 2022-2023 school year Wednesday evening.
A capital reserve fund allows school districts to set aside funds to avoid excessive short-term borrowing, according to the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.
Since the funds can only be used for specific purposes, the five-year plan details the amount of money it proposes to spend on certain projects.
Before the vote on the proposed plan, council member Jennifer Costanza asked why the athletic section received more money than the district section, administrative buildings section and all other school building sections combined.
“Why are we focusing on athletics and spending this amount of money when you think we have all these other big items in school buildings where students learn the most,” Costanza asked physical plant manager Jonathan Nihart.
Nihart said there are two bigger projects in the athletics section: the track resurfacing which could cost around $525,000 and the Tiger Stadium lighting upgrade which would cost around $600,000. $.
He also said officials are still trying to figure out how best to meet needs in school buildings.
“There are certainly a lot of needs that need to be met in our buildings, and I am very aware of that,” said Nihart.
The board also unanimously approved the Greater Altoona Career and Technical Center’s budget for the upcoming school year. The budget reflects $11,374,672 in total revenue and expenses, with Hollidaysburg’s share totaling $1,478,366. That cost was reduced by district vocational education grants of $143,163 for a net cost of $1,335,203, according to council secretary Autumn Fiscus.
“This represents a decrease in operational costs of 2.3% from the 2021-22 budget of $31,571, and a capital project payment of $38,100 for future capital improvements,” said Ficus.
In addition to the GACTC budget, the district will pay $206,799, “which is representative of our applicable share of the total IT Consortium expense budget of $467,019”, said Ficus.
“These costs represent a zero dollar increase on our part,” she says. “The IT Consortium budget provides software, hardware, and personnel for accounting, payroll, tendering, tax, census, and all student information computer systems.”
During the annual report presentations, Data Management Administrator Dawn Summerville said the district received $2,187,240 in ESSER 2 funds from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplementary Appropriations Act; $4.4 million from ARP ESSER 2 funds; a homelessness grant of $30,684; and a $25,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
“It achieved my goal and I think it aligns with the district’s mission and vision,” Summerville said.
Mirror Staff editor Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.