The Elizabethtown school board was asked to authorize repairs to the stage at the Elizabethtown Fairgrounds, which is on Elizabethtown Area School District property.
Fairground representative Bob Messick, who oversees maintenance there, made the request at the school board’s workshop meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
The stage, he said, is “not quite adequate enough. It’s not large enough … for the bands and for the performers and the things that we do there. We just need a little bit more space. The floor’s deteriorating, the roof needs replaced.”
Plans call for extending the existing stage 8 feet, to the square concrete dance floor. The dance floor would be rounded into a half-circle. And a ramp will be placed along the side.
“To the eye, when you go past after it’s finished, you won’t know anything changed,” Messick said.
Messick said the project, estimated to run around $35,000, would be done at no cost to the school district. The state has approved $25,000 in funding for the project, as long as it’s completed by July 1, Messick said. The fairground board will solicit donations and hold fundraisers, including chicken barbecues, for the remaining amount.
Messick expects a building permit would be needed, but wasn’t sure whether the project would involve a land development process with Elizabethtown Borough. Business Manager George Longridge said the school district would be the entity to apply for any needed permits.
Messick said the fairground would reimburse the district for any “soft costs” involved in that process. The school board plans to vote on the request at its action meeting on Tuesdya, Nov. 21.
Also at the meeting, two parents expressed concerns about potential changes to the district’s class rankings and the weighting of more rigorous classes. The changes are being proposed to recognize more top students by removing the focus from valedictorian and salutatorian, and ensure students aren’t taking weighted classes just to boost their grade point averages.
Jodie Evans, who has three children in the district, including a senior, said that colleges do consider class ranking and weighted GPAs as important, for both admission and merit aid. And the majority of students take honors and AP courses because that’s what colleges look for, she said.
She asked the district to keep the weighting of such classes and consider new criteria for valedictorian and salutatorian that takes into account more than GPA.
“There’s nothing wrong with rewarding students who are willing to challenge themselves,” Evans said. “There’s nothing wrong with a little competition to drive students to be the best they can be. Isn’t that what we want from our future doctors, engineers and scientists?”
Tina Lutter, who also has three children in the district, asked the board to reconsider the changes. She said her daughter and some classmates are very concerned. Her daughter is seeking a soccer scholarship, and schools are asking for class rank and weighted GPA, she noted.
Superintendent Michele Balliet said that a parent meeting on learning options will be held on at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4, in the high school large group instruction room.