The Carbondale Area School Board agreed to schedule a public work session to outline high school renovation plans, after two directors complained about a lack of information regarding the $15 million project.


The Carbondale Area School Board agreed to schedule a public work session to outline high school renovation plans, after two directors complained about a lack of information regarding the $15 million project.
The work session was originally scheduled for Wednesday night, March 23.  However, due to inclement weather on Wednesday, the meeting was cancelled for that night and rescheduled.
It will now be held on Monday night, March 28, in the high school library.
During the board’s meeting on Wednesday night, March 16, director Tracey Andrews complained that the board hadn’t received any information whatsoever on the project in the previous month from The Palumbo Group, the architectural firm overseeing the project.
“All we’ve been doing is paying bills [on the project],” she argued.
She turned to the audience and, addressing the district residents in attendance that night, said the individual board members aren’t any more informed on the project than the general public.
“You know what we know,” she told them.  “I know nothing.”
Director Diane Harrity agreed, saying she was told at last month’s meeting that the board had to approve the filing of the project documents with the Pennsylvania Department of Education so they could be submitted in February.
Yet she noted that the documents still hadn’t been sent to the state, nor had she seen any of them.
“I’ve called Doctor [district superintendent Dr. Dominick Famularo] every week since then and asked him where they were,” she said of the documents.  “Doctor still hasn’t seen them.”
Project manager Boyd Hoats of The Palumbo Group said his firm has been discussing project plans with Famularo.  However, Harrity said that wasn’t sufficient.
“With all due respect, the board should be notified,” she insisted.  “This is a $15 million project and that’s a lot of money to these taxpayers, so we really have to be looking over this project very carefully.” 
Famularo stated that Palumbo had provided information on plans for specific parts of the project, but not a full report.
“You haven’t left complete plans for anyone, including me,” he noted.
“We can do that,” Hoats assured him.
“I know you can,” Famularo responded.  “I’m just saying you haven’t.”
Hoats suggested holding a work session in which he would lay out all of Palumbo’s plans for the renovation project.
“We can go over everything we’re doing in the building,” he offered.
“I personally would love that,” Harrity replied.
Andrews concurred, adding, “It’s overdue.”
In a related matter, Hoats told the board that the project will be put out to bid by the end of this month.
He also noted that he has been having discussions with Dr. Famularo and high school principal Joseph Farrell about how the renovation will proceed during the school year, with classes still in session, when work begins this spring.
“One of the most important things with this project is the safety of the kids,” Hoats explained.  “It’s going to take a lot of coordination.”