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School board strives to trim supply costs
By: KIMBERLY MARSELAS Review Correspondent, Staff Writer
The Cocalico school board approved a number of spending measures for the 2012-13 school year at a meeting last week.
Among several bids and contracts awarded April 16 were about $24,000 for school supplies ranging from batteries to loose leaf paper and $10,000 in new equipment for the high school’s gymnasium expansion.
Several of the new sales and lease agreements represented cost-savings for the district, which like many is scaling back in what continues to be a tough economic stretch. The board approved about $8,200 in athletic supplies for the fall sports season, about $10,000 less than what they approved for fall 2011. The board ordered no new uniforms.
"There has been a conscious effort to keep the supply costs down," Superintendent Dr. Bruce Sensenig said after the meeting, noting that the district had spent about $13,000 on football equipment alone over the previous two years. "We’re trying to trim everywhere we can."
The board also saved in creating a new, five-year lease for copiers at each of its schools and reduced its natural gas price to $3.80 per unit for the coming school year.
The board approved two other items connected to the expansion of the high school gym. The board agreed to allow district officials to try to sell old weight equipment through a sealed bid process or offer the pieces as scrap metal for disposal. Members also approved of a new, $6,600 sound system for the gym’s student new weight-training and cardio rooms.
The audio equipment will be paid for in part by money raised by students who hosted spaghetti dinners as well as cash from the student activity fees contributed by students who participate in extracurricular activities. Sensenig said the price was the lowest of three quotes.
"I think it’s important for our residents to know that there’s no tax funds going toward this," he added.
The board also approved its annual budget with Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13, which provides services for special needs students. Cocalico will pay $24,328 for the 2012-13 school year, a slight decrease over the current year. Though the IU’s "core" expenses increased by 1.7 percent, Sensenig said officials there used administrative fees from grants to offset what local districts must contribute.
During the meeting, Sensenig also acknowledged business manager Sherri Stull, who received her professional registration from the Pennsylvania School Board Business Officials, as well as food services’ Chris Dunn, who earned a renewal.
The board also approved a list of 271 seniors for graduation, to be held on June 6. The district will finalize the list later this spring.
The board will hold a special meeting in May to vote on its proposed final 2012-13 budget. The meeting will be held on May 14 at 7:30 p.m. The board will also hold its regular on May 21.