KCSD hires architect for work on kindergarten center
● By Steven Hoffman
The Kennett Consolidated School District has enlisted the services of Bernardon Architects of West Chester for work on the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center’s facade and canopy. The firm will be overseeing the pre-design, construction documents, bidding and negotiating, and construction administration services for the project.
The work is expected to be completed over two years, during the summer of 2020 and the summer of 2021, to limit the issues that would arise if the work was completed during the school year. Overall, the costs are expected to be around $2,677,170 for the two phases of work.
School board member Michael Finnegan noted at the Nov. 11 meeting that this work is in the school district’s five-year plan, and the funding for the project will come out of a capital reserve fund.
“This is money that we already have in hand,” Finnegan said.
Eileen Rudisill has been appointed to serve as an assistant principal at Kennett High School. Rudisill was at the school board meeting with her family, and once her appointment was approved by the board, she spoke briefly—in English and Spanish—about how excited she is to be joining the Kennett Consolidated School District.
“I’m thrilled to be coming to this amazing school district,” she said.
Rudisill, who had a distinguished military career before becoming an educator, previously served as an assistant principal at the Coatesville Area Intermediate High School.
Mark Tracy, the school district’s business administrator, had the honor of recognizing the four school board members whose terms are ending this year. Tracy noted that the four school board members—Rudy Alfonso, Steven Ciprani, Aline Frank, and Dominic Perigo, Jr.—have a combined 35 years of service on the school board.
Alfonso has been on the board for eight years. Tracy noted that he has been a good advocate for the Chester County Intermediate Unit, and has been the Kennett School Board’s representative to the Intermediate Unit board.
Perigo, the board vice president and longtime chair of the facilities and construction committee, has served on the school board for the last 13 years. Tracy joked that Perigo is also known as “Mister I Bleed Blue” because of his well-known fondness for all things Kennett.
Frank served on the school board for the last 12 years. Her areas of expertise were instruction and curriculum endeavors, and she dedicated herself to the work of these committees.
Ciprani, who was selected to fill a vacancy on the board, was not able to attend the meeting. Tracy said that the board would recognize him at a future meeting. Tracy then presented each of the departing school board members with a plaque on behalf of the school district.
Perigo expressed his gratitude to the school district staff, students, and community members for all the support through the years. He called serving on the school board a great experience, and noted that his one son was in third grade when he started serving on the board. That son is now about to graduate from college.
Perigo, who also previously served on Kennett Square Borough Council, said that he wouldn’t hesitate to run for school board again.
“If the chance comes, I want to run again,” he said. “I really love it.”
The Kennett School Board will hold its reorganization meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2 at the Mary D. Lang Kindergarten Center. At that meeting, the school board will welcome the new members who won seats in the recent election and elect new officers to lead the board.
About those per-pupil expenditures in the Kennett Consolidated School District…
The Oct. 30 issue of the Chester County Press included a chart that outlined the per-pupil expenditures of the twelve school districts in Chester County. The Kennett Consolidated School District ranked 11th out of the 12 school districts for having the highest per-pupil expenditures. However, Kennett School Board member Michael Finnegan pointed out that these figures reflect a recent change by the state that requires a school district to include the full amount of bond refinancing in the figures that are used to determine the per-pupil costs. For Kennett Consolidated, this requirement added about $17 million to the amount utilized to determine the per-pupil expenditures.
Finnegan explained that if the bond refinancing total is not added to the school district’s figures, the per-pupil expenditures are significantly less—and Kennett would rank sixth out of the 12 school districts in Chester County.