Pottsgrove Board Approves $321,000+ for Equipment

Pottsgrove Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty (left) and school board President Al Leach at Tuesday’s board meeting

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – During fewer than five minutes Tuesday (Jan. 24, 2023), Pottsgrove School District administrators won school board authorization to spend more than $321,000 in coming months on two building equipment replacements, and also to buy a new bus fleet vehicle.

Members of the Board of School Directors, at their second monthly meeting, approved:

  • $151,695 to buy a new 250-kilowatt emergency generator that serves the high school and district office, both on Kauffman Road;
  • $170,482 for a new public announcement, clock, and bell system at Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School; and
  • an undisclosed amount to purchase a new passenger van that replaces one in the district fleet damaged in an earlier accident.

The emergency generator

Board members earlier in the current academic year approved an allocation of $120,000 to replace the generator, but the district couldn’t find one at that price, Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty explained. Only one bid, amounting to about $200,000, was received from a vendor. It was rejected.

In search of a better deal, the district then turned to what Finnerty called its list of “cooperative purchasing partners.” It found one from Foley Power Systems in a bid of $151,695. Pottsgrove’s facilities department suggested the board allow it to use the earlier $120,000, and approve an additional $40,620, to cover the increased expense and a contingency reserve. Directors agreed.

The public address system

The address system at Lower Pottsgrove Elementary sometimes works acceptably, and sometimes doesn’t, Finnerty indicated. It needs “a necessary upgrade, in our opinion,” he added.

What it didn’t need, board President Al Leach also reported, was a lot of “bells and whistles.” The basics offering quoted by Visual Sound of Broomall was priced at $170,482; the added-features version cost about 40 percent more. Pottsgrove administrators and board Operations and Facilities Committee members agreed the basic model will do just fine.

The van replacement

Sometime earlier a bus operated by the Penn-Delco School District accidentally “backed into” the front of the driver’s side of a Pottsgrove-owned passenger van, Finnerty said. The incident caused “heavy front-end damage,” the administration reported, and the vehicle was declared a total loss. It was covered by insurance, he assured board members.

There’s an immediate need for a replacement vehicle in the fleet, though, and the insurer’s check apparently has yet to arrive. The district sought advance approval to buy a replacement van from Whitmoyer Buick-Chevrolet in Mount Joy. The amount was not mentioned, but the insurance settlement will be sufficient to reimburse the cost, Finnerty noted.

Photo by The Post

Other coverage of the Pottsgrove school board Jan. 24 meeting:

Pottsgrove Board Approves $321,000+ for Equipment
Two Pottsgrove school building equipment replacements – a generator for the high school and district office, and a sound system at Lower Pottsgrove Elementary – have been authorized at a combined value of more than $321,000.

District Authorizes ‘Falcon Trail’ at Middle School
Pottsgrove Middle School will be the future setting for the “Falcon Trail,” a 1,200-foot walkway that is expected to provide easy and direct access to students and Coddington View residents to nearby Hollenbach Park.

Incoming Teachers Pair With Mentors for 2023
Pottsgrove school board members this month, as they have during many previous years, approved the pairing of newly arrived educators with district veterans. The goal is to help newcomers feel comfortable and grow in their jobs.

Pottsgrove Directors Appoint Business Administrator
Newly appointed Pottsgrove School District Business Administrator Deborah Klahold was welcomed with applause Tuesday, as the school board introduced her as its chief financial executive.

PCTV Live-Streamed Pottsgrove’s Jan. 24 Meeting
The Tuesday (Jan. 24, 2023) meeting of the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ meeting was live-streamed by Pottstown Community Television, and then archived on YouTube.