Kiski Area: ‘Green’ certification not worth greenbacks |

Kiski Area: ‘Green’ certification not worth greenbacks

Brian C. Rittmeyer

Kiski Area School Board is considering not pursuing formal certification that its elementary schools will be environmentally sound, or “green,” after an upcoming building project.

The board is expected next week to direct the district’s architect not to seek “LEED” certification on the project. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Certification is done by the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C.

Certification means a building conforms to extensive environmental standards.

While not pursuing the certification, Superintendent John Meighan said the district would use as many “green building” principles as the district’s budget will permit.

Pursuing the certification would add cost to the project, but district officials could not say how much.

“Just to have a certificate on the wall costs us extra money,” board President Robert Keibler said.

Keibler noted that the district’s architect, Jay Johnston, of Canzian/Johnston & Associates, is LEED certified.

Board member Keith Blayden said the cost of the certification would be “excessive.”

“It’s nice to have,” Blayden said. “It doesn’t really save you money.”

The elementary building plan approved by the board calls for closing three of the district’s seven elementary schools — Bell-Avon, Laurel Point and Washington — and turning North Washington Elementary into a school for all fifth- and sixth-graders.

Allegheny-Hyde Park, Mamont and Vandergrift would each house kindergarten through fourth grade.

Pay freeze talks

District officials continue to discuss a wage concession agreement with its teachers union, a week before the school board is scheduled to vote on the budget.

“We are having fruitful, continuing discussions,” Keibler said.

Union officials have said their desire to extend the teachers’ contract by one year as part of a wage freeze agreement has been a sticking point.

Meighan has said if teachers accept a pay freeze for the 2011-12 school year, it could eliminate a number of the eight teacher furloughs the board has already approved.

The board also furloughed two administrators.

Meighan and other administrators agreed to take a pay freeze and presented that offer to the school board, but it was not included in the district’s $50.4 million preliminary budget.

The offer is still on the table, Meighan said.

No tax increase is included in the proposed spending plan.

Additional Information:

Coming up

Who: Kiski Area School Board

What: Budget adoption

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Administration center board room, Hyde Park Road, Allegheny Township

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.