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EACS to look at building repairs

– In the coming months, the East Allen County Schools board might need to make some decisions about how it will continue maintaining some of its buildings that are in need of repair.

During a meeting Tuesday, the board heard a presentation from director of facilities Doug Roemer, who reported a handful of important improvements that require the board’s attention.

“I think we’ll have to have some key decisions made by the board,” he said.

All of the buildings were proposed to be part of an $88 million referendum rejected by voters last May. It was the third and final phase of the district’s redesign plan to close and consolidate schools amid declining revenue.

The plan would have turned New Haven High School into a seventh-through-12th-grade building and renovate what is now Harding Junior-Senior High School and East Allen University, the district’s early college magnet program.

Roemer said the district doesn’t have the money in its capital projects fund to continue maintaining the aging buildings. He said funding has been cut while the cost of maintaining aging buildings has been increasing. The district’s technology department is also paid for from the capital projects fund.

He cited roof work at Park Hill Learning Center; fire alarm and parking lot improvements at New Haven Middle School; and heating and electrical system upgrades at both New Haven High School and East Allen University as improvements that need to be addressed.

“These issues now are beyond preventative maintenance,” Roemer said to board members. “You’re looking at equipment that’s 40 years old.”

He said he doesn’t have a total price tag for the work, as the referendum included add-ons that wouldn’t be a priority.

Board members asked Roemer to work with building principals to put together a list of priority projects with pricing for the board to use when working on its budget this summer.