Brandywine votes to end its drivers’ ed program; looks for alternatives

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Brandywine Board of Education adopted a resolution to discontinue the district's drivers' education program at its meeting last night.
This possibility was discussed at the last board meeting and after looking into the possibilities, the board decided it would be in the best interest of Brandywine schools.
The board unanimously agreed with the recommendation from Campbell.
The board will be looking into the possibility of allowing a private drivers' education service to come in and use the district's facilities. This will allow students the opportunity to take drivers' education in Brandywine.
In other business, the Bleacher Task Force Committee updated the board on the current state of the schools' bleachers and what type of action is required.
The committee was formed after some injuries occurred on the bleachers on Oct. 24, 2003. The accidents brought serious questions about the condition of the bleachers on both sides of the football field.
The committee offered four options to the board: remove all bleachers and do not replace them, retrofit the home side with aluminum and replace the away side (the away side is apparently beyond repair), remove both sides and replace with new, or remove both sides and the press box and replace with new.
The bleacher committee recommended the last option.
They felt retrofitting was a viable option, but there would still be a possibility of other problems in the future.
The board will take the options into consideration and make a decision in the future.
There was also an update on the bond project from Brandywine's director of finance, Gus Damaske.
Damaske indicated they have made it through the first two phases and are currently working in the construction document phase.
This phase indicated that the project was $275,000 over budget.
He said they have adjusted the base bids and considered making alternatives to some of the plans.
Some of the alternate plans include the a reduced amount of playground equipment, the transportation configuration at the elementary school and the media center at the high school.
With the adjustments being made to the plan, they are now $65,000 under budget. Damaske said these considerations are not definite.
Campbell reminded those in attendance to remain flexible and be patient because of the unpredictable nature of construction projects.

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