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Permanent roadway added to Alparon in preparation for future Troy Fairs

TROY — Construction work is heating up as fast as summer at Alparon Park in Troy where a permanent roadway is being created to accommodate 2020’s Troy Fair.

Troy Fair amusement rides were moved from their traditional place on the midway at the southern end of Alparon Park in 2019 after severe flooding during the 2018 Troy Fair caused rides to be closed for the majority of the week and costly damages to some attractions.

To create an accessible path to the rides and games at their new location on the northern end of the park for last year’s fair, a temporary road was donated and removed after the week’s festivities.

Now, a permanent concrete midway road is being constructed in the same location as 2019’s temporary pathway, funded by a State Fair Project grant and money collected through a Reverse Raffle fundraiser hosted by Troy Fair Board members last winter.

Troy Fair officials announced in a press release that the permanent roadway will be finished for the 2020 Troy Fair which they are hoping will still be held from July 27 to Aug. 1 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and state restrictions relating to it.

“As we are still unsure if the fair will be able to be held, we are working on all aspects in hopes that we may be able to open the fair on July 27,” officials stated, adding that the fair is still selling tickets for all shows and accepting entries for all departments.

Individuals are encouraged to check the Troy Fair Facebook page for updates regarding both the roadway and the fair.

Lynch Little Library ready to welcome community readers

ATHENS TOWNSHIP — A new resource for children needing summer reading materials is now up and ready to go at Lynch-Bustin Elementary School.

According to school Principal John Toscano, the Lynch Little Library was built by students Quinn and Audrey Riddle.

“It’s basically a big cabinet that we’re going to put free books into for kids in the community,” Toscano explained to the Athens School Board Tuesday. “They can come and take a book, or people can put books in for other kids to use, and we’re hoping it’s going to get some good use over the summer, especially with libraries being closed.”

The Lynch Little Library was installed Monday.

“I’m super-thankful to them, and we’re excited to get it going,” Toscano added.

AASD working on plan for Aug. 27 start of school

ATHENS — The Athens Area School District is starting work on a pilot health and safety plan that, with school board approval June 18, can enable district buildings to open on July 1 in accordance to preliminary reopening guidance released by the state last week.

“We’ll be coordinating with many local officials and experts to develop the plan and we’re using all of the necessary guidance from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), WHO (World Health Organization), Pennsylvania Department of Education, and others that have already prepared their re-entry plans,” Superintendent Craig Stage explained.

Even with facilities opened, Stage noted that the high school pool will have to wait until Aug. 1 due to the more complex nature of creating a plan for that space. However, he said the extra time will allow the district to perform some necessary and preventative maintenance in the area. More information about the pool’s reopening will be shared at a future date.

Stage said they are also expecting direction from the PIAA for athletics this week.

“Once we get that guidance, we’ll be developing our plan for that as well,” said Stage.

As part of the planning process, Stage said the district will be sending surveys out to parents next week.

Stage hopes to have a permanent plan approved by the school board on July 21, which will guide how the district will open up to students on Aug. 27, whether its completely in classroom or includes some distance learning.

Resident Jeff Nason stressed the importance of parents being notified about the plan so they can plan for their children in the case that remote learning is required.

In preparation for future virtual learning, the Athens School Board approved the use of the Schoology remote learning platform for third through 12th grades at a cost of $5.50 per student per year. Schoology was one of a number of programs the district utilized following the state’s COVID-19 closure, and Stage believes the cost will be covered under the CARES Act.

Stage highlighted how the program will not only serve as a uniform platform, but will also allow teachers to control content while integrating seamlessly with the district’s PowerSchool information system.

“So grading and updating assessments will all work seamlessly,” Stage said.

Kindergarten through second grades will continue using the more youth oriented Seesaw program.