Parkland School Board directors welcomed new teachers during a festive reception filled with great enthusiasm and optimism for the 2019-20 term.
Director of Human Resources Pam Kelly offered opening remarks.
“This evening is a very special tradition Parkland has,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t happen everywhere.”
She noted the hiring process seems to start earlier, and run later each year.
Kelly reported administrators started seeking new teachers at job fairs in February and hired the first one in April.
As Parkland School District administrators prepare for the opening of Veterans Memorial Elementary School in September 2020, they are drafting a redistricting plan for students in the southern portion of the district.
Changes will be made in boundaries for Jaindl, Fogelsville, Cetronia and Parkway Manor elementary schools.
At a recent meeting, Superintendent Richard Sniscak discussed the redistricting project.
“We have 600 to 650 each at Jaindl, Cetronia, Fogelsville and Parkway Manor — our top four enrollment schools,” Sniscak said. “All have portables (classrooms).
South Whitehall Township Manager Renee Bickel has reported Chris Kiskeravage was selected for a full-time position as fire commissioner.
At a recent meeting, Bickel said Kiskeravage will be paid from the fire tax which took effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
“He will be a liaison between the township and the fire companies,” Bickel said. “He will provide consistency and oversight.”
Kiskeravage, who will join the staff in November, will work out of the township building, and will report to Chief of Police Glen Dorney, Bickel explained.
Over the past two decades, developers in South Whitehall occasionally asked for sidewalk deferrals in areas which did not have them in the vicinity at that time.
The understanding was that when the township was ready for sidewalk connections, property owners would be asked to provide them.
The late Steve Seyer, who served on the board of commissioners and the planning commission, often questioned the idea of deferrals and predicted the matter might cause problems later on.
South Whitehall will be launching a capital campaign this fall to collect donations for updating the playground and restrooms at Covered Bridge Park.
Parks and Recreation Manager Mike Kukitz explained the need for the new equipment during the Sept. 18 township commissioners’ meeting.
“What we have is from the 1990s,” Kukitz said. “It is not up to snuff with what playgrounds can be nowadays.
“We need more challenging play equipment.”
He noted all kinds of new attractions such as zip lines, electronic items and balance apparatus are available.
After several hours of comments from Ridge Farm development representatives and the public, the South Whitehall planning commission voted to table the request from Kay Builders for conditional approval.
“We haven’t seen data about rush hour and other things we usually see in a traffic impact study,” Planner Bob Bielecki stated. “Conditional approval will have to wait until that’s done.”
Diane Kelly concurred.
“I’m not comfortable moving forward with this plan,” Kelly said. “We haven’t seen this before with the northern section separated.”
A year from now, Veterans Memorial Elementary School, under construction in Upper Macungie Township will open its doors to about 500 children in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Situated on an 18-acre site on the west side of Twin Ponds Road between Long Lane and Schantz Road, the new facility was planned in response to high residential growth in the southwestern portion of the district.
As the most recent configuration of Ridge Farm was displayed during the Sept. 16 South Whitehall planning commission meeting, viewers started to realize, residents of and drivers into the northern section with most of the housing will have to use Huckleberry Road to enter and exit the housing development.
Traffic engineer Rob Hoffman, however, focused only on road improvements to Walbert Avenue and Cedar Crest Boulevard.
During the Sept. 16 South Whitehall planning commission meeting, Traffic engineer Rob Hoffman reported representatives of Kay Builders spent one-and-a-half years studying 27 intersections which are expected to be impacted by the Ridge Farm housing development in South Whitehall.
“This has been under an extreme amount of scrutiny by PennDOT,” Hoffman said. “There’s going to be increased traffic.
“PennDOT is satisfied the scope of the improvements is adequate for the project.”
South Whitehall residents filled Springhouse Middle School’s auditorium Sept. 16 as representatives of Ridge Farm presented their latest request to the planning commission for conditional approval.
Developer Kay Builders submitted its original conditional use application in April 2017 and has had several public meetings since then in which residents expressed disapproval.
The project proposes development on the north and south sides of Huckleberry Ridge and the east and west sides of Cedar Crest Boulevard between Walbert Avenue and Huckleberry Road.