Board wants info. on Ike athletic switch

Maybe, but not yet.

That’s the message the Warren County School District board of directors gave to Eisenhower Middle/High School this week regarding a potential athletic program switch from PIAA District 10 to District 9.

The board approved a resolution during a meeting held on Monday night that permits administration to, essentially, conduct a feasibility study that examines “the implications to all sports programs facilitated at Eisenhower Middle/High School, any increase or decrease in costs for the programs and any other impacts that will affect the athletic programs at Eisenhower Middle/High School or other programs in the District.”

Timelines for the potential switch are also to be included in the report.

Once the report is complete, “the Eisenhower Middle/High School administration on behalf of its athletic programs is authorized to make a formal recommendation to the Superintendent… as to its desire to remain in District 10 or move to District 9 in a formal presentation to the Warren County School District Board of School Directors.”

The first step in the process is board approval, followed by approval from the PIAA Districts and the league Eisenhower might seek to join.

“I’m glad we’re going in that direction,” Board member Marcy Morgan said. “I think it could be accomplished for next year if we acted upon it now. (I) don’t see it as a benefit to the kids to stay in D10.”

Morgan said that the “trickiness” of the transfer is finding a home for the Knight football team. “In the AML (Allegheny Mountain League of which Sheffield is a member), there is an opening right now. They put out applications to join and I don’t think they’ve closed that yet.”

Board Vice-president Donna Zariczny quickly sought clarification regarding the scope of the resolution.

“All we’re doing is analyzing the benefits of going in that direction,” she said. “(We’re) not approving going in that direction. I want to make sure that we’re not making a decision to go in a direction that is going to affect kids negatively… across the district.”

Board President Arthur Stewart asked when the report outlined in the resolution would be completed.

“Basically, if we want to move, we have to move rather quickly to District 9,” Phil Knapp, supervisor of district-wide athletics and co-curricular activities, said. “Alignment starts in January.”

Board member Mike Zamborik asked if that means that all the steps should be completed by January.

“That would be best case scenario,” Knapp added.

“As a board member, I don’t want to be accused of holding up the process,” said Zariczny. “How soon do we need to make a decision so that you can make application.”

“It has to happen very soon,” Knapp noted. “I would think we would want to do it prior to December.”