Dallas School District approves feasibility study

By Eileen Godin - egodin@timesleader.com

By Eileen Godin


DALLAS TWP. — Dallas School Board members Monday agreed to conduct a campus-wide building feasibility study and discussed updating its tobacco policies to include vaping and electronic cigarettes.

E.I. Associates, an architectural and engineering service with an office in Harrisburg, was hired to do a feasibility study on all district buildings at a cost of $10,000, Grant Palfey, business manager at Dallas School District said.

The decision was made so the district was in compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s PlanCon requirements, Palfey said.

PlanCon is an acronym for Planning and Construction Workbook, which are forms and procedures for school districts to use to apply for state reimbursement for major school construction projects, according to the Department of Education website.

The last time the district completed a required PlanCon feasibility study was in 2006 before the construction of the new high school, Palfey said.

The targeted building is the 44-year-old Dallas Elementary School, but Palfey confirmed no major projects are planned for the aging building.

The study will examine the district’s student enrollment and the buildings’ capacity to meet the demand, Palfey said.

If the study reveals potential projects, the Dallas School Board will then discuss options. The $10,000 fee will be returned to the district if E.I. Associates are hired to complete any determined projects.

The prefabricated Dallas Elementary School was built to temporarily house flood victims from the 1972 Agnes Flood.

The building is the oldest building on the school’s campus and was scrutinized in the past.

In August 2015, a facilities assessment by Wick Fisher White, a mechanical and electrical engineering firm in Philadelphia, found the heating and ventilation units in the Dallas Elementary School needed to be updated. There are 35 heating and ventilation units in the building.

In November, the school board allotted $75,000 to begin the process of replacing the oldest units first.

In other news, the Dallas School Board recognized a need to update the district’s three policies on tobacco use to include nicotine dispensing products such as electronic cigarettes and “vaping,” said superintendent Thomas Duffy.

“Our current policies are outdated,” Duffy said. “We are all well aware of the increased use of e-cigarettes and vapes in the community,” Duffy said. “Our students are experimenting with both of those pieces. Our current policy does not address vapes and other transmission devices that contain nicotine.”

Also, each of the Dallas School Board members received recognition from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 27 in the administration building to vote on the proposed preliminary school budget for the 2016-17 school year.

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.

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