The Parkland School Board has approved $165,300 for a feasibility study to be conducted by Stantec Architecture and Engineering LLC.
During the March 24 meeting, Superintendent Richard Sniscak explained the consultants will take a comprehensive look at the district with an overview for the next decade.
He said the study will examine demographics in North Whitehall, South Whitehall and Upper Macungie townships and project enrollments for the future.
In a recent presentation to the school board, Assistant to the Superintendent for Operations Tracy Smith reported students and teachers are participating in a blended learning pilot program.
"Blended learning is transforming the classroom," Smith said. "Technology is being used to amplify the great work of our teachers.
"We created a marriage of curriculum and technology."
In his ongoing preparation of the 2015-16 budget, Parkland Business Manager John Vignone reported as of March 24, projected expenditures exceed revenues by nearly $1.2 million in the $158.5 million total needed to fund the district in the next school year.
To address the budget delta, administrators and staff are working to cut costs while also seeking additional sources of revenue.
To complicate matters, the commonwealth budget is still under negotiation, and school districts do not know what funding they will receive from the state.
Jeff Strauss of Elysium Acquisitions came to South Whitehall commissioners March 18 with a revised sketch plan for development of a 3.35-acre parcel he refers to as "30 West."
The tract lies east of the Cedar Crest Boulevard McDonald's restaurant with boundaries along W. Washington and N. 30th streets.
Strauss proposes "a private enclave of luxurious homesites quietly nestled in the South Whitehall section of the deep West End."
Upper Lehigh Historical Society is conducting its annual membership campaign with an invitation for new volunteers to step forth and help keep the Schneck House going.
With few active working members, it has become difficult to conduct events and take proper care of the cabin, once home to Schnecksville's founding family.
Volunteers are needed for property maintenance, special events and committees. The group is also looking for tour guides, speakers for meetings, and a curator help with acquisitions and artifacts.
After 10 months of listening to people's comments about Wehr's Dam at every board meeting, South Whitehall commissioners voted 4-1 March 18 to save the dam.
Glenn Block, David Bond, Dale Daubert and Thomas Johns voted to keep the dam.
Board President Christina "Tori" Morgan voted to proceed with dam removal and stream restoration.
The room was filled to capacity with individuals who spoke in favor of keeping the dam and others who said the dam should be removed to allow for stream restoration, as well as to avoid using taxpayer's money for repairs.
Anthony Naradko has been preparing for his new position, assistant director of school services for transportation and safety, for 10 months.
When he takes over July 1, Naradko will have spent an entire year learning the job from outgoing longterm director Jeff Emig, who will be retiring.
When Naradko was chosen as Emig's successor last June, District Superintendent Richard Sniscak explained the need to prepare in advance for the future of the transportation department leadership.
South Whitehall Township's meeting room was filled to capacity March 4 for the board's meeting.
Residents gathered to hear the long-awaited report relating to the removal of Wehr's Dam.
Nate Hoffman, senior project scientist for KCI Technologies, presented the results of the study, funded by grants obtained by the Wildlands Conservancy.
The crowd of people attending the March 4 South Whitehall commissioners' meeting presented a mix of viewpoints concerning the future of Wehr's Dam.
Most were residents. Others were professors or people outside the township who expressed opinions on what they believe is best for Jordan Creek and Covered Bridge Park.
Bob Schantz, who has been participating in the Save Wehr's Dam organization for more than nine months, said a visitor to the dam told him the structure is like an aging parent or loved one. It needs care.
Rob Cohen, who represents the school board at Parkland Community Library, reports the library is working to define its vision for the future.
Through a staff and board retreat, and with the use of a community focus group, the library gathered information to use in preparation for a strategic plan.
"There is a real sense of the future being regenerated at the Parkland Community Library," Cohen said. "Through the strategic plan, we can spell out what the future will hold for the library."