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Bear Creek School Reopens Following Sprinkler Damage

Bear Creek School

Bear Creek School is recovering from serious water damage caused by a malfunction in the sprinkler system, but only one school day was lost and it will not need to be made up, Superintendent Michele Balliet said.

Balliet gave an update on the school serving fourth through sixth grade students from throughout the school district at the school board meeting on Tuesday, April 18.

Bear Creek School was closed on Wednesday, April 12, because of the water damage. It was already supposed to be closed for spring break the following two days; Balliet said excellent cooperation between school employees and community partners allowed the school to reopen on Monday, April 17.

The computer room is a total loss, Balliet said. The most visible damage is the missing ceiling tiles and carpets; Balliet said those will not be replaced until the end of the school year to make sure everything is thoroughly dried out.

“We are working with our insurance adjuster to make sure we have everything buttoned up,” Balliet said.

In another matter, the board heard from John Mavrides, Lancaster County’s director of assessment, about the reassessment of property tax values now going on. Mavrides said the county’s property values were last assessed in 2005, so most properties will be worth significantly more today. However, he said tax millage rates will be reduced, so the amount a local government collects from property taxes will remain the same. Mavrides said people who think their properties are being overassessed have a right to appeal; the deadline to file appeals will likely be in mid-July and appeals will be heard through October, he said.

“You can’t appear what the millage rate is, but you can appeal your assessment, which is a big part of that calculation,” Mavrides said.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to bring back former board member Ronald T. Grenko to replace Michael Nicodemus, who resigned from the board because he moved out of the district. Grenko is to serve until Dec. 5, when the term ends. He is replaced by someone elected in the Nov. 7 general election. Grenko’s previous board service was also to fill a vacancy created by a resignation; he was appointed to fill out the remainder of Kay Ardner’s term when she resigned in 2014.

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