AUSTIN — The AHS budget committee will meet on April 29 at 6 p.m. in the school library to discuss future goals for the 2019-20 school year and how it relates to the budget. The leadership team has been meeting bi-weekly to review the goals of the district. The building and maintenance committee recently did a walkthrough of the building and discussed the need for repairs along with safety concerns.

With aging school facilities, district officials are being faced with the dilemma to upgrade their existing facility and equipment. Superintendent Kimberly Rees noted some of the district’s key goals are to make the facility safe and make the school a student focused learning center. Rees said the business manager and maintenance personnel completed the Hunts Report, a three-year plan to get the school building updated.

The board approved the 2019-20 general operating budget of the of the Seneca Highlands Intermediate Unit in the amount of $1,051,258.

AHS education instructors Michele Rodich and Jody Bailey gave a presentation on the National Art Education Association Convention they attended last month in Boston. The team gave two presentations: “Evolution of Games” and “Science in the Art Room Experimenting and Creating with Alcohol Inks.” The annual event provides professional development opportunities for visual arts education professionals including classroom teachers, administrators, artists, and college professors.

Rodich and Bailey also gave the highlights on the National Art Honor Society’s trip to New York City. Rodich noted this was a very educational experience for the students and thanked the board for their support.

Business manager Pam Terrette reported the district is the recipient of the Rural Energy for America Program grant for approximately $14,000. These funds are used to help address the needs of rural schools.

After reviewing a quote for nearly $23,000 to repair damages with the roof, the board approved school maintenance personnel completing the work for a cost of approximately $1,000. The board has been advised a complete roof replacement will be needed in four to five years and it was not feasible to spend $23,000 on the project at this time. The leaks around the drains will be covered by warranty. Rees noted the building is a priority for the upcoming year and the district will be reserving funds for capital projects with these funds to be applied towards the new roof.

The board approved hiring a part-time summer maintenance supervisor for 10 weeks at $13 per hour. The supervisor will be responsible for completing necessary paperwork for out-of-school youth hired through CareerLink to assist with summer cleaning.

The board approved sending the district’s 2019 valedictorian to the Big 30 Academic Banquet which will be held at the Old Library Restaurant in Olean, N.Y. on May 13. Cost to the district is $213.75. Due to this date, the board meeting has been changed to Tuesday, May 14, at 6 p.m.

Principal Dan Eskesen reported James Kinney’s Local Adventure Club will travel to the Kinzua Dam in Warren to tour the facilities. Students will also visit the Allegany National Forest’s Rimrock Scenic Area and Seneca Pumping Station which overlooks the Kinzua Dam.

Ryan Johnson’s Outdoor Rec Class will take a field trip to hike part of the Susquehannock Trail System, an 85-mile loop which runs through Potter and Clinton counties. The trip will be no cost to the district.

Eskesen reported PSSA’s will be conducted April 15-17. This is state mandated testing for students in grades 3-8.