A creative commons will be a notable feature of the new Parkland elementary school planned for Upper Macungie Township.
At a recent school board meeting, Mike Kelly, of KCBA architectural firm, explained the large, flexible open space is conceived for STEAMM activities, including science, technology, engineering, arts, math and medicine.
The glass walled area will be a bright setting for performances, presentations and group studies.
The commons will overlook a secure courtyard, inaccessible to outsiders.
Kelly explained how the outside space will be protected.
South Whitehall commissioners recently awarded a bid of $221,381 to Corrosion Control Corporation for water tank maintenance during the next five years.
The township owns three tanks — the PPL water tower, the Brickyard Road reservoir and the Cedarbrook tank — that require annual upkeep.
Although 75 companies downloaded the bid documents, only one was received and opened.
Jerry Charvala, utilities group leader, commented on the tank maintenance.
“This is imperative for good water quality,” Charvala said. “We are proactive to address any issues with the tanks.”
Attorney John Harrison, hired by South Whitehall to handle issues relating to the Econo Lodge, 1151 Bulldog Drive, provided some information at a recent commissioners’ meeting.
“The Econo Lodge is willingly discontinuing all long-term rentals as of Sept. 18,” Harrison said.
At previous meetings, residents had expressed concern over alleged illegal activities going on at the hotel and on their own streets by individuals residing at the establishment.
Union United Church of Christ, Neffs, will host a basket social on Oct. 4. Doors open 5:30 p.m. Social begins at 7 p.m.
Hot dogs, soda, and baked goods will be available.
Union UCC welcomes children to Sunday School from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
Children’s church is a unique program during the 10:30 a.m. worship service.
Three-year-olds through sixth graders start out in the sanctuary for the beginning of the service.
As Parkland School District prepared to launch a new school year, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rodney Troutman gave a presentation to the board on goals completed in 2016-17 and objectives for 2017-18.
“We’ve seen great accomplishments across the district,” Troutman said. “We want to create lofty goals that continue to move this district forward.”
Troutman reported last year’s major goal of implementing full-day kindergarten was a great success and resulted in a new instructional aim for this year.
A project begun last year to improve a 1-mile section of Huckleberry Road east of Applewood Drive is now open.
South Whitehall Manager of Public Works Jeff Clapper explained in June the road needed to be repaired but required a lot of preliminary base work.
“This was slowed down drastically because of hitting rock,” Clapper said. “We had 20 inlets to install and a bunch of piping but had to dig through a lot of rock to do it.”
He said the Huckleberry Road improvement was helped by a grant from Lehigh County.
South Whitehall commissioners have given unanimous approval to redistricting reform in Pennsylvania.
The board, during its Aug. 16 meeting, displayed a letter which will be sent to 18 public officials at the state, federal and county levels.
The action signifies support of legislation being enacted to reform the current process which results in gerrymandered districts.
At an earlier meeting, Dr. Fritz Walker, state coordinating team chair of Fair Districts PA, explained gerrymandering is drawing district boundaries to benefit one party.
South Whitehall commissioners have approved the purchase of new computerized equipment for the township water system at a cost of $273,156.
The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition technology will be purchased from Will Business Applications Inc.
At a recent meeting, Jerry Charvala, South Whitehall utilities group leader, explained the new technology will control the entire water system.
SCADA will monitor chlorine residuals, control pumps, check tank levels and provide pressure readings, Charvalla said.
The seventh annual Laurys Station Community Day begins 3 p.m. Sept. 16 and culminate with fireworks in the evening.
Festivities take place at the Laurys Station Fire Company and North Whitehall Township athletic fields, 5314 Egypt Road.
Features include a variety of food, vendors, games, car show, bake sale, historical displays, Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 144 encampment, MS Walking Warriors team basket raffle, chili cook off, and photo contest.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center will accept blood donations 3-7 p.m.
Parkland’s school board has taken the first step toward conversion of Fogelsville Elementary School heating system from fuel oil to natural gas.
At a recent meeting, Director of School Services David Keppel reported the action will save the district $40,000 annually, after about 3-1/2 years to recoup the initial investment.
The board approved Snyder Hoffman Associates Inc. for professional mechanical and electrical engineering services at a cost of $5,380 leading toward the conversion.
Superintendent Richard Sniscak noted the amount is only for design work.