Commissioners approve bid for Clarion renovation project

February 20, 2019

The Somerset County commissioners approved a bid Tuesday for renovations at the Somerset County Education Center to accommodate Clarion University’s nursing program.

The $284,000 contract was awarded to Darr Construction, of Berlin. Construction is scheduled to start the first week in March to have four classrooms converted into a state-of-the-art clinical laboratory and administration area. The project is being funded by the $350,000 a year the county had received the last two years from the Regional Community College Services line item in the state budget.

Somerset Planning & Engineering Services President Jon Wahl said his firm did the design work and prepared the bid specifications.

“Clarion has been intimately involved with the review specifications and layout of the building,” he said.

Four months ago county officials announced that the university had signed a five-year agreement with Somerset County to lease space at the Somerset County Education Center for a nursing program. Somerset County lost its nursing program when Allegany College of Maryland decided to no longer lease space at the center in 2017.

Somerset County solicitor Michael Barbera said that all of the improvements will continue to be owned by the county.

Commissioner Gerald Walker said he has talked to Clarion officials and they have three confirmed students for their nursing program and 17 applications.

“Hopefully, we have a facility that is second to none,” he said.

The first class is scheduled to begin in the fall.

“We need to keep this project moving forward,” he said. “We got a lot of ground to cover between now and then.”

In other business, the commissioners approved the following personnel actions:

Resignations/separations from employment:

Area Agency on Aging: Janet Shaulis, of Listie, meal deliverer, effective Feb. 4.Children & Youth Services: Roberta Darr, of Jenners, clerk, effective Feb. 19.District attorney: Carolann Young, of Somerset, and Tara Collier, of Meyersdale, assistant district attorney, effective March 8.Information technologies: Christopher Baeckel, of Shanksville, programmer/webpage designer, effective March 1.

New employees:

Area Agency on Aging: Melissa Titus, of Rockwood, meal deliverer, $10.37 per hour, effective Feb. 20.Children & Youth Services: Ashley Dease, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, social service aide III, $20,000, effective Feb. 25.Clerk of courts: Barbara Sigler, of Meyersdale, clerk, $19,500, effective Feb. 25.County jail: Matthew Stillwagon, of Rockwood, and Hannah Berkey, of Johnstown, part-time correctional officer, $15.07 per hour, effective Feb. 25.Public defender: Nicole Johnson, of Rockwood, clerk, $19,500, effective Feb. 20{&semispace}Tiffany Stanley, of Meyersdale, assistant public defender, $32,500, which includes an additional $500 for Treatment Court responsibilities, effective March 11.


County jail: promote Ryan Brown, of Meyersdale, and Abby Revello, of Somerset, from part-time to full-time correctional officer at an annual salary of $31,346, effective Feb. 23.Recorder of deeds/agricultural extension office: Linda Woods, of Somerset, transfer from clerk for recorder of deeds to clerk for the agricultural extension office at an annual salary of $36,701, effective Feb. 25.Public defender/district attorney: Sara Huston, of Berlin, transfer from part-time assistant public defender to full-time assistant district attorney at an annual salary of $59,703, effective March 8.