No tax hike expected in NK-Arnold |

No tax hike expected in NK-Arnold

George Guido

There will be no real estate tax increase next school year for New Kensington-Arnold School District property owners.

The school board Thursday night approved a preliminary budget of $37.4 million that keeps the tax rate at 83.27 mills.

A shortfall of $2.3 million will be mostly covered by reserve funds, but there remains a deficit of $628,000.

Officials said the deficit will be whittled down by June 23 when the school board is expected to finalize the budget.

The sale of the former Greenwald Memorial School for $525,000 will go a long way in closing the unfunded gap, along with furloughs and other possible retirements of veteran teachers. The school board on Thursday accepted the retirement of Spanish teacher Rachel Crytzer.

School district officials are hoping for more funding under the state's 2016-17 budget to further address the gap.

Board President Robert Pallone said 21 possible teacher furloughs will be dealt with shortly. Teachers who will be called back from the furlough list will be finalized “within the next few days,” he said.

The school board also approved the Northern Westmoreland Career & Technology Center's budget of $3.3 million, a hike of 2.7 percent over the current school year's budget.

New Kensington-Arnold's share of slightly more than $578,000 was also approved.

Officials said enrollment of district students in the vo-tech school is up, to about 100.

Greenwald School sold

An era ended Thursday night with the finalization of the sale of the Greenwald Memorial School to the Greensburg Catholic Diocese for $525,000.

The school building will reopen in the fall as the site of the relocated Mary Queen of Apostles School.

Greenwald has been part of the public school district since it opened in 1950 at the corner of Freeport and Elmtree roads.

The school was named after Navy Seaman Robert Greenwald, who was killed in the Pearl Harbor attack on Dec. 7, 1941, at age 20.

Greenwald grew up on nearby Camp Avenue before enlisting in the Navy in 1939.

The school board also granted the diocese right of early entry, meaning parochial officials can soon start moving into the school building without a waiting period for all the paperwork to take effect.

“They want to be ready for September,” Pallone said. “We didn't have to extend the right of entry, but we did.”

Pallone said the other former elementary school sites, Fort Crawford and Edgewood, remain for sale.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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