HASD approves reserve fund plan

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The Hollidaysburg Area School Board unanimously approved its capital reserve five-year plan for the 2022-23 school year Wednesday evening.

A capital reserve fund allows school districts to set aside funds to avoid excessive short-term borrowing, according to the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.

Because the funds can only be used for specific purposes, the five-year plan details how much money it proposes to spend on certain projects.

Before the vote on the proposed plan, board member Jennifer Costanza questioned why the athletic section was allocated more money than the districtwide section, administrative building section and all other school building sections combined.

“Why are we focused on the athletics and spending this amount of money when, according to you, we have all of these other big ticket items in the actual school buildings where students are the most, learning,” Costanza asked Director of Physical Plant Jonathan Nihart.

Nihart said that there are two larger projects under the athletics section: track resurfacing that could cost an estimated $525,000 and lighting upgrades to Tiger Stadium, which would cost an estimated $600,000.

He also said that officials are still trying to determine the best way to meet the needs in the school buildings.

“There’s definitely a lot of needs that need to be addressed in our buildings, and I’m very aware of that,” Nihart said.

The board also unanimously approved the Greater Altoona Career and Technical Center budget for the upcoming school year. The budget reflects $11,374,672 in total revenues and expenses, with Hollidaysburg’s share totaling $1,478,366. That cost was reduced by the district’s vocational education subsidies of $143,163 for a net cost of $1,335,203, according to board secretary Autumn Fiscus.

“This represents a 2.3% operational cost decrease from the 2021-22 budget, or $31,571, and a $38,100 capital project payment for future capital improvements,” Fiscus said.

In addition to the GACTC budget, the district will pay $206,799, “which is representative of our applicable share of the total Computer Consortium expenditure budget of $467,019,” Fiscus said.

“These costs represent a zero dollar increase in our share,” she said. “The Computer Consortium budget provides software, hardware and personnel supporting accounting, payroll, bidding, tax, census and all student information computer systems.”

During annual report presentations, Data Management Administrator Dawn Summerville stated the district received $2,187,240 from Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act ESSER 2 funds; $4.4 million from ARP ESSER 2 funds; a homeless grant for $30,684; and a $25,000 Pennsylvania Department of Education grant.

“This met my goal and I think it is in line with the mission and vision of the district,” Summerville said.

Mirror Staff Writer Rachel Foor is at 814-946-7458.


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