NEW LONDON—Avon Grove school directors have approved an agreement for $39,000 to Geotechnical Engineering for soil testing at the Sunnyside Road property where the district plans to build a new high school.

It was recently announced that the district has been named for a grant of $1.368 million for the High School project to help cover the costs of green features at the new building. The total cost for the project is expected to be well below the $127 million the board has authorized as its maximum expenditure.

A second contract with Geotechnical Engineering involves core samples for the high school track, which are needed prior to resurfacing the track. The complete track restoration project will cost $350,000, below the original estimate of $440,000.

Improvements are also coming to the long standing drainage problems at the small baseball/softball field behind the Penn London Elementary School. At least part of the $22,000 cost of the work will be covered by the Avon Grove Little League.

The PTO has been working with the district to erect a tree house on the Penn London Elementary School Playground, but the project is stalled as the Penn Township supervisors voted against waiving the land development process for the structure.

The Township has posted a notice on Face Book to make it clear that they did not vote to deny the tree house. Their action only denied the waiver request, so that the plans must go through the steps required under a land development plan.

At the beginning of the meeting, the board and audience heard a presentation from Avon Grove High School teachers on STEM initiatives in the district. Green initiatives at the school include a student built solar power, mobile charging cart that is being used to recharge student chromebooks and other devices. The school is also working on installing a windmill generator as an additional green power source.

The High School also has a fabrication program that includes a laser engraver. With this piece of equipment a student can design a product, make a prototype and go into production of the final product all within one classroom session.

The district robotics team was also on hand to show the robot they have built and are successfully in competition this year. In addition to the robotics team, the high school has an e-sports team participating in the Play VS league. Weekly online events center on a virtual car soccer competition, but the school also has a vehicle simulator and a flight simulator that can be used in other programs.

At the close of the meeting, the board agreed to work on establishing board goals for the next school year. Board committee chairs will be asked to suggest goals based on the items they are working on. The full board will then select its goals for the new school year during their annual retreat in August.

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