New Castle News


February 27, 2013

New Castle school board: Consolidate in fall of 2014

NEW CASTLE — New Castle school board members generally agree that no consolidation will take place until the Lockley school renovations are completed.

The board continued discussions last night about whether to move students into George Washington or consider other options while waiting for the early learning center construction progress.

The plans are to eventually consolidate Thaddeus Stevens, JFK and West Side schools under one roof at Lockley, once a $24 million renovation and addition there are built. The building then would house kindergarten through third grade.

Public board discussions last week centered on whether some consolidations should be made in advance for a cost-savings.

The board reached more definitive conclusions last night.

The members leaned upon advice from acting superintendent Stanley Magusiak, who recommended that because of bidding for positions and the potential disruption of the children’s education, that the consolidation should take place all at once at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

The school completion is scheduled for early January 2014, but the board members say they are skeptical of whether the contractors will adhere to that time frame.

Magusiak said it is his opinion that the board should not move toward consolidation until the Lockley building is finished,

“There are so many issues going on ... and you have a new superintendent coming in here,” he said. To consolidate during that process “is going to cause a lot of grief to a lot of people.”Educationally, if the district moves the students into the new building in mid-year, it will be a disruption, he said, “and I don’t agree with that.”

He said there will need to be a reconfiguration of classes and teachers.

“The timelines for this are just so tight. We’re hoping that building will be done just after the Christmas break next year. If we jump to do that then, that’s going to cause a lot of confusion.”

To wait for a fall 2014 opening, “in my heart, I think that’s the best thing to do for the kids,” Magusiak said.

If the project is finished on time, a question would be whether to move the kindergarten students from St. Joseph’s into the new school in mid-year with two smaller class sizes of 20, or to leave the new building empty until fall.

The district pays to rent space at St. Joseph’s, where there are 40 kindergartners and two teachers.

Board member Dr. Marilyn K. Berkely said she would like to see the contractors and architects live up to their completion date.

“Tell them to get it done,” she said. “We don’t want to wait another year. Where’s the savings?”

Magusiak said he could live with the kindergarten move in mid-year because the children would be moved with their teachers, to finish the year.

“What I couldn’t live with is moving first-graders in mid-year and having reconfiguration issues and (teacher) bidding issues,” he said.

Solicitor Charles Sapienza said if the board waits to consolidate in the fall of 2014 and doesn’t close any schools before that, it would not need to have a public hearing until a year from now.



Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Yauger.jpg Yauger’s Mercer County trial on hold

    A pending criminal trial for the former Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV executive director has been continued again in Mercer County.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yauger.jpg Yauger now facing federal charge

    With Mercer County court proceedings pending this week, Cecelia Yauger faces federal prosecution for alleged business credit card misuse.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg New Castle board adopts budget despite uncertainty

    The New Castle school board adopted its 2014-15 budget Monday but may have to re-open it next week. The $5.4 million budget, introduced in May, has no tax increase and will not tap into the fund balance. Taxes remain at 17.72 mills.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todora.jpg Board, staff bids farewell to superintendent

    Dr. Mary Todora will retire Monday from the Neshannock school district. “I remember eight and a half years ago when Dr. John Dietz (then-board president) called to tell me I got the job. I was thrilled,” Todora said at her final board meeting.

    June 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich.jpg Vo-tech administrators get bonuses, no raises

    Lawrence County Career and Technical Center administrators will get one-time bonuses instead of raises next year. The joint operating committee approved one-year agreements that would freeze the salaries of director Leonard A. Rich and the principal, head custodian, cafeteria supervisor and computer technician.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FrankAloi.jpg Frank Aloi: 50 years of school spirit in Ellwood City

    Frank Aloi is a true Wolverine. Aloi, who turned 73 Friday, spent the past half-century affiliated with the Ellwood City school district and its sports teams.

    June 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • FrankAloi.JPG Frank Aloi Retiring: Ellwood superintendent leaving amid budget woes

    Frank Aloi is retiring next month as Ellwood City’s superintendent of schools. Aloi, a 50-year district employee and its superintendent for nearly 12, submitted his retirement notice to the board during an executive session prior to Thursday’s meeting. His last day is July 16.

    June 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • school.jpg District mulls building sale options

    The New Castle school district is considering selling its three recently closed buildings through a sealed bid process.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perfect.jpg Your Education: Shenango grad never missed a day

    They say nobody’s perfect. But for 13 years, Jenna DiGiammarino certainly was. When Jenna left last night’s commencement ceremonies at Shenango High School, she did so not only with a diploma in hand, but also with a flawless record of attendance dating back to Day One of kindergarten.

    June 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • 03.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Three New Castle schools close today for good

    Today is bittersweet for New Castle Area School District elementary students and teachers. Three buildings packed with history as longtime learning institutions are closing their doors for good.

    June 5, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results