Grove City School Board members reorganized on Wednesday night – their last meeting of 2019.

Members who won the general election were sworn in by District Judge D. Neil McEwen – incumbents Dr. Constance Nichols and Dr. Armando Sciullo, and newcomers Lee McCracken, Ryan Thomas and Douglas Gerwick.

McCracken was appointed board president, and Thomas was named vice president.

Other board members are Heather Baker, Patty Wilson, J. Scott Somora and Ray Abplanalp.

McCracken and Thomas thanked the board for appointing them to leadership roles.

McCracken said he’ll take his position as president seriously, and he looks forward to helping board members work together well.

These meetings were set: work session on Jan. 7, and voting meeting on Jan. 13, both starting at 7 p.m. in the board conference room at the district’s main office.

Board members will set the meeting calendar for 2020 at the Jan. 13 meeting, including a possible change in time.

Work sessions and meetings for 2019 were moved from 7 to 6 p.m. Board members agreed that 7 p.m. may be a better time.

Board members are also reviewing the district’s calendar for the 2020-21 school year.

They’re aiming for a February approval and will decide if classes should start before or after Labor Day, Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Finch said.

That will depend on the construction schedule for the remainder of renovations at Hillview Elementary School.

Contractors expect to have more information by February about when the occupancy permit for the building will be ready, he said.

Option one shows classes starting on Aug. 31 and ending on June 4. Option two has Sept. 8 listed as the first day, and June 11 as the last day.

Also in 2020, the board will move to a more structured setup for committees, and each work session will start with committee meetings, McCracken said.

In other business at Wednesday’s meeting:

• Board members approved the Act 1 index for 2020-21. It’s set at 3.4 percent, which means that the board can’t raise property taxes above that amount unless they get approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education or the voters.

• Finch said that the district will see a decrease of about $980,000 in healthcare costs over the next five years because of a change recently made to the the employees’ health insurance plan through a consortium.

• Abplanalp said that the wrestling boosters donated $1,000 for the Grove City Community Food Pantry, which was burglarized in November. Wrestling team members recently presented the donation to the pantry.

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