State loan program helps Niles with maintenance, utility costs

The district loses $180,000 a year because of faulty equipment and leaky roofs, the superintendent said.
NILES -- A state-funded loan program to assist schools with maintenance and utility costs is literally helping the Niles school district plug some holes.
At Thursday night's school board meeting, Superintendent Rocco Adduci gave a progress report on repairs that are part of the $1.9 million House Bill 264. According to Adduci, the school district loses approximately $180,000 a year as a result of utility and maintenance costs because of out-of-date or faulty equipment and leaking roofs.
House Bill 264 provides schools with the ability to take the money that would have been wasted on such costs to obtain and pay off a loan that will be used to buy new equipment and to build new roofs.
Adduci said that in addition to roofing projects at Lincoln and Bonham elementary schools and Niles McKinley High School, the domestic hot water tank at Lincoln Elementary and the boiler system at the high school will be replaced, as will temperature control systems in all buildings.
"With the same amount of money we were losing, we're now able to capture that and replace the leaky roofs with new ones," said Adduci.
The board also heard a report from Jackson Elementary Principal Ann Marie Thigpen on the district's summer intervention program that ran from June 14-30 for pupils in grades 2, 3 and 4. She said that only 66 of the 184 pupils eligible attended the language arts-based program, despite the availability of busing and breakfast. The program was partially funded by the 2005 fiscal year Reading Intervention Grant.
"This was a very good program," said Thigpen. "Those that attended should be commended."
In other business the board:
UCommended Lin Gettman, Niles McKinley English teacher, for receiving an A-Plus Teacher Award.
UCommended Katherine Rabel, special-education teacher at Washington Elementary, for being included in Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
UApproved the resignation for retirement purposes of transportation supervisor Michael Shargo and named Charles Kucera as his replacement.
UApproved the hiring of Gerlinda Melillo as the Education of Exceptional Children supervisor.
UApproved three one-year supplemental contracts and 20 one-year personal service contracts for coaching athletics.
UMoved the Aug. 25 regular board meeting to 7 p.m. Aug. 18 at the high school.

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