MCDONALD Panel seeks ways to fund athletic facilities upgrade

The board also renewed contracts with its top four administrators.
McDONALD -- The school board has formed a committee to explore ways to raise money to modernize district athletic facilities.
Treasurer Thomas Radabaugh said options to be discussed are planning a major fund-raising drive through long-term annual pledges from alumni athletes, obtaining grants through the Americans with Disabilities Act, soliciting general improvement funds and borrowing.
Board member William Kunkle noted that community response to an upgrade has been positive.
Athletic Director Fred Gault is chairman of the committee, which has yet to meet. Other members are Radabaugh and Joan Miles, a retired high school business teacher.
The board approved forming a special weight equipment fund for an annual weight-lifting fund-raiser headed by football coach Dan Williams. The event has been held for 24 years.
The weight room, Radabaugh told the board Thursday night, consists of a small, closetlike space in the high school basement.
The athletic department has been told it can use the football team's Blue Devil Room for a weight room after a $7.8 million renovation of the high school is completed.
Expansion plans: The new space would allow for a planned expansion the committee hopes will include adding equipment and opening weight and strength training to all athletes instead of just football players.
Williams wants to put the money earned from the annual spring lift-a-thon into the special fund to begin raising money for an overall upgrade of athletic facilities, which Radabaugh said will give the district a base of an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 a year for the next two years.
The committee also will look at installation of an all-weather track, upgrades to the stadium, gym and pool, as well as addressing the needs for handicapped accessibility in the auditorium and the gym.
Contracts renewed: The board renewed contracts of all four of the district's top administrators.
Receiving new two-year contracts retroactive to Aug. 1, 2001, to July 31, 2003, were Robert Bloniarz, superintendent, at an annual salary of $70,300; John LaRocca, high school principal, at $62,300; and Anthony Russo, elementary principal, at $57,218. All three received $1,700 bonuses in August. There is no salary increase provided for in their new pacts.
Radabaugh received a new contract from Jan. 1, 2002, to Dec. 31, 2005, with an increase of $1,500 each year. His 2002 salary will increase from $48,500 to $50,000.

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