by Jonathan Weaver
The Armstrong Riverhawks hockey team has been able to wear the new school orange-and-blue logo and colors during its season and school directors are now planning for another group to as well.
Since January, Ford City Principal Michael Cominos and District Music Chair Jason Venesky have met with Kittanning Senior High Principal James Rummel, Band Director Pat Cavanaugh and students to design uniforms for the new senior high marching band.
School board directors saw a replica of the orange, blue and silver uniforms during their open caucus session last night and will decide on Monday whether to start accepting bids.
Superintendent Stan Chapp recommended board action so that uniforms would be ready by the opening of Armstrong Junior-Senior High School in Fall 2015.
“We start with band uniforms because those uniforms last a number of years before they are replaced again,” Chapp said. “There are a lot of bid (specifications) with those in terms of material and style– believe it or not, that takes a good bit of work to get that in-place.”
Cominos assumed the new uniforms would last about 10-12 years based on the longevity currently seen in the purple Ford City and red Kittanning band uniforms.
“We were looking for something with a little bit of flash, something that would be clean and would be timeless,” Cominos said.
Venesky – who is also Ford City’s high school band director – said the orange and blue uniforms include metallic stripes that symbolize a wave or a river bend – since the school will be close to the Allegheny River – and would be durable.
Cominos looks to bid for about 120 uniforms for musicians.
“Based on our projections, we’re estimating that we’re going to have 100 musicians on the field. And we’re not talking colorguard or majorettes – we’re talking everybody has an instrument in their hand,” Cominos said. “This is something that’s going to be big for everybody – it’s something to be excited about.”
He added that the front also includes the approved-school logo and mascot name.
“We want to trademark the school, for lack of a better term. When everyone thinks of the Armstrong Riverhawks, we want them to have the same image – no matter what sport, no matter what activity, we want it to be the same images. And when the school opens, we hope those images make their way out to the public as well. (Students) will see (the logo) when they walk in – they’ll know where they’re at.
“We want to create enough positive energy that this whole community can be proud of.”
Designs are still being finalized, and administrators would have to work with the winning bidder to coordinate appropriate colors.
School directors will also vote Monday on two change orders for the school construction in Manor Township.
Between a credit from Vern’s Electric Inc due to a change in light fixtures for the lobby and the gymnasium and an added expense to Lugalia Mechanical, Inc. for temperature control units, board directors would have to pay an additional $5,700,
Reynolds Construction Representative Steve Reckhart said contractors are preparing for tree cutting that must be completed before March 31 to properly eliminate the habitat for the Indiana bat.
In January, officials estimated the tree cutting would cost approximately $15,000 through Independence Excavating, Inc.
Superintendent Stan Chapp also thanked Student Transportation, Child Accounting and Safe Schools Director Jon Fair and Director of Technology & Information Services Anthony Grenda for their work to ensure receipt of a $25,000 State grant.
“We will be using monies from this grant to purchase new and update existing cameras in several of our buildings,” Fair said. “We look at this as another layer of security throughout the district.”
Anthony Grenda said about 16 surveillance cameras will be added to the interior and exterior of Elderton and Shannock Valley Elementary Schools. He hopes those cameras are installed by the end of the current school year – which due to weather cancellations, has tentatively been moved to June 10.
Last month, board directors unanimously approved the purchase of other cameras, and Grenda said the cameras available due to the grant funding will also be able to interface with them.
School Directors James Rearic and Larry Robb were absent from the open caucus session.