Cracking poles cast shadow on ICC light deal

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane school board has a vacancy to fill on the board. At the board’s July 7 meeting the board said that Tricia Mavrides, formerly Gerkman, has moved out of the district and the board is asking for letters of interest from anyone who wants to fill the year left on her term.

The evening started with the annual organization meeting and the swearing in of newly elected board members John Antalek, Tracy Farrell and Regina Rose. Anthony Welcome was again elected board president and John Chandler vice president.

The board is accepting letters for interested to fill the vacant seat until August 31 and plans to interview interested candidates at the September 1 board meeting.

The other issue the board discussed at the meeting involved the athletic field lights. School Superintendent George Zini said that in February one of the light poles fell. The district then inspected the other poles and found tiny cracks in each of the three remaining poles, so the district removed those poles as a safety precaution.

He said he has had many conversations with the company that installed the poles in 2004, as well as the school’s attorney and insurance company. The poles were out of warranty and the issue that caused the cracks, called harmonic resonance, was not covered under the warranty.

School officials also asked the district’s engineering firm, BCK, to inspect the poles.

The company that put up the original poles, Valmont, has offered to split the cost of new poles that would meet modern standards, Mr. Zini told the board. The district would have to pay about $55,000 for the new poles and the company is offering to pay $36,500 of that amount.

Mr. Zini said he talked to Mary Roach, the attorney for the school district. “She said that’s not a bad deal,” he told the board.

The board did not agree to move forward with the new poles at the meeting. Mr. Zini said that he would bring a resolution to their next meeting for the board to review.

He did say that even if the board agrees to split the costs with Valmont, there would be no new poles installed until at least November. “We will not have the poles up for the fall,” he said. He told the board that the athletic director was scheduling games around the lack of lights.

Mr. Zini also updated the board on capital projects that have been delayed at the state Education Department. Plans to add four classrooms and a vestibule to the Primary School, and a vestibule at the Elementary/Middle School, are finally being reviewed by the state after being submitted last fall, he said.

“It was a one-year delay, basically,” Mr. Zini said of the hold-up at the state level.

He said the vestibules could be ready by the fall of 2016 and the four extra classrooms by the next fall.

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, August 4 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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