Pitched as a suggestion at a previous committee meeting, the Warren County School District is taking steps to move its maintenance department from the former Pleasant Elementary School to the now defunct Sugar Grove Elementary School.
A motion forward to the full board by the Physical Plant and Facilities Committee on Monday indicates, "That the Board of School Directors authorizes the move of the District's maintenance department and warehouse to the recently closed Sugar Grove Elementary School and directs that the administration provide the required 60 days of termination pursuant to the Lease Agreement that currently applies to the maintenance department and warehouse."
The warehouse and maintenance department are currently located in the Tab Building on the grounds of Warren State Hospital.
While Sugar Grove Borough has scheduled a town meeting at the Sugar Grove Volunteer Fire Department building at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 18, board member Tom Knapp said that the district's desires for the property take precedent in this case and that he "doesn't think it will have drawback from the community."
WCSD Director of Buildings and Grounds Dr. Norbert Kennerknecht explained that the district has "talked about moving the department to Pleasant. (In) trying to secure the details of the actual move" it was discovered that Pleasant could not support the district's phone system or internet network.
"In that we have all (those) accommodations at Sugar Grove," he said, "that was a plus in the decision to move that way. We could do it on the other side of the river (at Pleasant)," he said, but it would come as a cost.
The cost, he said, would be $45,000 to $50,000 "to make those needed changes."
With the concern raised previously about the ballfield and playground at the Sugar Grove site, keeping the grounds in school district hands would ensure public access to those areas.
"This seems to be a win-win situation for all parties concerned," Kennerknecht said.
Committee Chair Donna Zariczny asked if the district's maintenance and warehouse needs would occupy the entirety of the building.
Kennerknecht said they would not.
"We would like to maintain the gymnasium... (and) multi-use space (and) keep that vacant," he said, which would preserve those for community use.
For the district's warehouse needs, Kennerknecht said they would "use classrooms on the other end of the building, particularly the kindergarten end of the building."
The motion will now go before the full board, either at a special meeting slated for Thursday at noon or at the August regular meeting.