McKeesport's artificial turf replacement to cost $355,110

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McKeesport Area School District administrators at a legislative board meeting Wednesday night approved the replacement of artificial turf that will cost the district $355,110.

"We're not doing this for any beautification of the turf," board president Patricia Maksin said. "We're doing it for safety reasons. We don't want to take any chances with concussion and other injuries."

The turf will be replaced with FieldTurf. The projected start date for the project is June 10, immediately following the high school's commencement. Board member and private contractor Scott Smith said the turf is likely to be completed by mid-July.

The board also voted to approve the resignation of Hilary Spell, manager of the Young Parent Project Case. Ms. Spell formerly headed the district's Teen-ELECT program, which provided alternative and additional support to teenage parents.

Board members also approved a revised academic calendar for the 2014-2015 school year. The calendar year starts Aug. 27 and includes nine snow days for students.

Funding was approved for a four-week student American Red Cross Lifeguard certification course at the high school. The estimated cost for the course is about $100 per person, although the district is in discussion for a possible discounted rate for students.

The district previewed the 2014-2015 budget, estimated at about $62.8 million. The biggest increases in the budget include charter school tuition, retirement payouts and the board's debt service.

Superintendent Rula Skezas said the district is sponsoring several initiatives to curb truancy, including having an updated database of parent and student information.

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