AASD board member blasts Kreuz

Editor’s note: This story was corrected on July 15 to reflect that Ed Kreuz is current candidate for the Altoona Area School Board. His name will be on the fall election ballot.

Current Altoona Area School Board candidate Ed Kreuz went to Facebook this week to post the meeting agenda for the school board’s physical plant committee Wednesday night. His notes in the margins are what gained attention.

School board member Dutch Brennan said Kreuz is spreading misinformation about how much money the board wants to spend.

Kreuz said his notes are basic, reflecting what he heard at the meeting.

“I’m just putting out there what I heard,” he said.

But to Brennan, the way Kreuz displayed the notes on Facebook gives voters the wrong impression.

“This is the crap he throws out there and it drives me bonkers. Then people start preaching it to be gospel,” Brennan said. “He’s playing the political game. We are doing everything evil and he’s going to come save everyone.”

One of Kreuz’s notes from the meeting reads: “Talked about building for administration. If a new school is built, admin needs a place to go. Approximate cost $3.5 million.”

To Brennan, Kreuz’s notes suggest the board wants to spend that much.

“The current plan is to look for a building the offices can move into for a few hundred k. Not one board member would want to spend $3.5 million,” Brennan said.

Brennan added that Kreuz is correct that if the board were to build a new administration building from the ground up, the estimated cost given by Superinten­dent Charles Prijatelj is $3.5 million.

However, Brennan said while the board has to hear the most expensive options, it doesn’t mean they will go down that road.

“It’s all to be decided. Right now, everything we are doing is about gathering numbers. But everyone is freaking out about just getting information,” he said.

Brennan said district administration and KCBA Architects have been meeting without board members lately to discuss the high school building project designs because one board member opposed to the project impedes the information gathering phase.

“It gets frustrating for these guys when you have someone whose sole purpose is to attack them. You just don’t get things done that way. So the board hasn’t been as involved as we were,” he said. “I want to see us get more involved with KCBA again.

“The ball was in the administration’s court; we need to bring it back to our (the board’s) court,” Brennan said.

In June, the board was presented with the high school design so they could have input on it.

Prijatelj said another meeting is scheduled for August in which the district’s architect will walk through the high school plans as they stand.

Prijatelj expects those plans to change.

“When you are designing a project this big, there are compromises. You get a lot of different perspectives. All has to be done in budget and be aesthetically pleasing to all stakeholders involved,” he said.

At this point, Brennan said, the administration has a wish list put together.

“Now the board is looking at that wish list and asking ‘Do we need to have two fitness rooms in this area? Should the guidance office be on the first floor instead of the second floor because parents make visits?'” Brennan asked.

One of Kreuz’s notes from the physical plant meeting claims Leopold varsity tennis courts will need to be relocated to Mansion Park only if a new school is built.

But Brennan said there is no avoiding the tennis court costs regardless of what happens with the new school.

“If we want to leave Leopold there, we can do that,” Brennan said.

“The tennis courts and basketball courts need to be redone regardless of a new school,” Brennan said. “Did he (Kreuz) even ask about the condition of the courts? They all need redone. Those courts are dying over at Leopold. You can’t just let things fall apart, and that’s what we’ve done over the years,” Brennan said.