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Bethlehem extends superintendent's contract for another 5 years

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 24 2013 01:06:26 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 24 2013 06:36:41 AM CDT
Joseph Roy, BASD Supt.
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

If Monday night's Bethlehem Area School District Board of Directors' meeting proved anything it's that the directors think Superintendent Joseph Roy isn't just an average Joe.

Lavishing praise upon him, the directors then proceeded to ratify a five-year contract that will keep him as the district's leader effective July 1,2014 and ending June 30, 2019.

He will receive a raise to $170,000 this year, the final year of his existing contract.

There are no guaranteed raises in the new deal, according to President Michael Faccinetto.

Faccinetto said that, thanks to Roy's direction, the district has "corrected problems" that existed during the previous administration and added that Roy has brought "transparency" to a position where little of it existed before.

Director Aurea Ortiz said "the trust of the community is there," in Roy and that she was personally "very grateful" for improving diversity within the district.

In other major votes Monday night, directors voted 7-2 to grant Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts' request to relocate to South Side Bethlehem at 321 E. Third St. upon the completion of a new $27 million building.

Several parents attended the evening's meeting and spoke about how much the move would benefit their children and introduce more individuals to the city.

The fissure for directors for several months had been that the building was being constructed in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.

"Our job as a board is to stand up for the taxpayer," Director Basilio Bonilla said, before casting his no vote.

The school has an enrollment of 650 students and currently operates on East Broad Street in the city.

In addition the board voted 8-1 to hire Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects to provide architectural design services for the new Nitschmann Middle School at a cost of $2.25 million. The firm beat out two other finalists - Architecture Furst and KCBA Architects - to get the assignment. 

Faccinetto said the firm's "21st century learning" design offset and issues he had with the hefty price tag.

Bonilla cast the lone dissenting vote.