Bellmawr’s Early Childhood Center Moves Closer to Opening

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Construction at the Early Childhood Center at Bellmawr Park continues to move along and the district expects to receive its certificate of occupancy (CO) late next month, School Superintendent, Annette Castiglione, said.

“Barring any catastrophe, we are looking to move in on October 26 and we anticipate November 9 as an entry date for the students,” she said at last week’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting.

As for the projected cost of the remediation work, the superintendent said that she does not have the final reports from the environmental consultant, but she expects to have them in a few weeks.

Once she in possession of those reports, Castiglione said she would be in a better position to discuss the final cost.

Concerning the environmental aspect, the district’s consultant, Tom Pruno of Environmental Design, gave a general update over the telephone and said that the area is safe.

He stated that prior studies indicated the fill was considered “historic,” because of the plates and bottles that had been uncovered during the early excavation work at Bellmawr Park.

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He added: “The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) agreed so we continued to follow the regulatory guidelines for historic fill.”

In simple terms, he explained that any of the accessible places, where kids could play, walk or touch anything, he said: “There is no risk at all and it is completely covered.”

Pruno also said that the area will be subject to periodic monitoring on an annual basis, with some spots being checked at least twice a year, if not more.

He stated: “We will be monitoring conditions to make sure that everything that was done is holding up well.”

During the business portion of the meeting, all motions voted on were approved.

The board approved a motion for non-resident pre-school tuition for the 2015-16 school at the rate of $3,000.

The board also approved the hiring of a part-time administrative assistant. The business administrator, Amy Capriotti, said that the hiring for this position was paid for by the pre-school funding grant and will not be coming out of the local budget.

The board approved three staff members for the ELL Family Support Center at $42.95 per hour.

A motion was passed that approved professional development for several school board members and administration for the 2015 NJSBA Workshop.

The workshop will be held October 27-29 in Atlantic City. The group registration fee is of $1,300, plus mileage reimbursement, meal allowance and lodging.

The 2015 NJSBA Workshop website states that the annual Workshop Conference draws over 7,500 attendees.

Additionally, the website indicates the workshop “is the destination where educational decision-makers across New Jersey come to find solutions to the challenges they face in their school districts. School officials will get answers to their questions on closing the achievement gap, lowering district operating costs through alternative energy solutions, and using technology to improve the delivery of education.”

*Article originally appeared in the October 1, 2015 edition of the Gloucester City News.
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