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School Board OK's Sale of White Oak Elementary

By Mary Shelly
The Tube City Almanac
February 02, 2018
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

(Photo courtesy Broker 1 Realty)

The McKeesport Area School Board has voted to begin the process of selling the White Oak Elementary School building to Wellness for Veterans in the amount of $400,000.

District officials said Wellness for Veterans is a privately owned organization that provides physical and mental health services as well as job placement services for veterans.

"I've been told that they would be providing housing for veterans as well as some health services, job placement services, et cetera," said David Seropian, district business manager.

The building will be a taxable property under this purchase, Seropian said.

Built in 1950 and expanded in 1955, White Oak Elementary closed in 2014. The building has been for sale for more than a year. Located on California Avenue, it includes 50,990 square feet of space and sits on 7.7 acres of land, according to real estate listings.

In other business, the district has established an entirely new curriculum for grades kindergarten to 12.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Holtzman said that if a new teacher is hired, the district has “a curriculum to hand them, to start their instruction from.” The district's goal is to make it easy for students, staff and parents and guardians to all have good communication about what is going on in the district, he said.

The curriculum will be posted on the district's website, Holtzman said. “You can click on a grade and look at what it is the children are learning in that particular class,” Holtzman said.

In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, students from all grades approached the board and explained their favorite book they have read in their reading and English classes. With the new curriculum, the students thanked the board for the books they are able to read.

The board voted to authorize Seropian to advertise for bids for the high school cafeteria renovation and equipment replacement project, to be paid for from the food service fund. The district has money in the food service fund that they are required to spend, Seropian said.

“This has been something that has been identified by our staff as a need,” he said. Depending on time constraints, if the renovation cannot be accomplished this summer it may be pushed back to the following summer, Seropian said.

School Director Ivan Hampton reported for the athletic committee that they are currently discussing a contract with Under Armour for the track team. The company has offered the district $7,500 per year in equipment the district purchases uniforms for three years.

Athletic Director Charley Kiss said he will revisit the contract as well as contact other vendors before making a final decision.

School Director Dave Donato announced that the Glenn Miller Orchestra concert held at the high school raised more than $5,000 in scholarships that will be awarded through the Romeo Club.

Mary Shelly is a freelance writer and a student at McKeesport Area High School. Editor Jason Togyer contributed to this story.

Originally published February 02, 2018.

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