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Carbondale Area Gets $500,000 State Grant For School Upgrades

September 14, 2018

Carbondale Area schools will get an upgrade, thanks to a $500,000 state grant. The district must match the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grants, which the state awarded Tuesday. Carbondale will do that with either a bank loan or from a districtwide energy saving project, said school board president Gary Smedley. The district will use some of the money to upgrade the HVAC system and roof at the elementary school and tint windows at both the elementary and high schools, said Smedley. The window tinting will prevent anyone from seeing students inside and block sunlight to help the district save on cooling costs, he said. Carbondale Area also will make energy efficient upgrades, including replacing lights inside and outside schools, said Superintendent Robert Mehalick. The grant also will fund upgrades at the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School on Farview Street, which the district purchased in 2014, for extra classrooms and preschool offerings. The building has been vacant for more than five years. Once the upgrades are done, the district may move the superintendent and business manager offices there, said Smedley. Those offices were moved into a small space to create classrooms for students with special needs, which saved the district about $500,000 this year by allowing the students to stay in the district. The district also may open a family center there. “We are extremely grateful and appreciative to state Sen. John Blake and state Rep. Sid Michael (Kavulich),” Mehalick said. “They worked extremely hard to make this happen. They haven’t forgotten about us, this small little district.” The school board will decide how to allocate the grant. The board’s monthly meeting is 7:15 p.m. Monday, in the high school auditorium. Contact the writer: kbolus@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5114; @kbolusTT on Twitter

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