LOWVILLE Lowville Academy and Central School officials have separated administration of busing and building maintenance after traditionally having a single supervisor for both.
We split the job, District Superintendent Kenneth J. McAuliffe said, noting that the move is essentially a shift of responsibilities allowing the supervisors to focus on their respective departments.
The Board of Education recently approved a Civil Service transfer of position duties for Allen W. Matuszczak, who has served as the districts transportation and building maintenance supervisor since October 2001, to building and grounds supervisor at an annual salary of $65,025. The board then approved a probationary appointment of Reginald W. Hoch as transportation supervisor, provisional on his performance in his upcoming Civil Service exam, at an annual salary of $54,391.
Mr. Hoch has worked for the district since 2003 as an assistant mechanic and dispatcher.
The administrative split was implemented on a temporary basis in the spring, but it took until now to gain Civil Services approval of the change on a permanent basis, Mr. McAuliffe said.
The main impetus for the move was the death of long-time head custodian and swim coach Robert E. Bobb Watkins in late December following a short battle with cancer, he said.
While Mr. Matuszczak oversaw both transportation and building maintenance, Mr. Watkins had handled many administrative duties on the maintenance side, Mr. McAuliffe said.
District officials decided to shift those responsibilities to Mr. Matuszczak, hire a laborer instead of adding a new head custodian and appoint a separate supervisor to oversee busing, he said.
The move is effectively budget neutral, as an increase in salary for Mr. Hochs administrative responsibilities was offset by a reduction in the custodial salary, Mr. McAuliffe said.
And, with oversight of both departments becoming more demanding, it made sense to have separate supervisors focused on each one, he said.
The kindergarten-through-grade-12 building has gotten larger and more technical to operate through improvements made in the past couple of capital projects, and district staff handle 99 percent of maintenance issues in-house, Mr. McAuliffe said. That is a very talented group, he said.
Meanwhile, the transportation department handles roughly 300,000 bus routes each school year, he said.