The board president said that, rather than being a long-standing committee, it will dissolve after it accomplishes its two tasks.

Solar power

Stephanoff updated the school board on a plan to have electricity-generating solar power panels installed on the roofs of the high school.

He said a 500-kilowatt solar system would cover 60-80 percent of the roof space and provide the school with about 50 percent of its power.

He said the high school now pays about $216,000 a year for electricity.

Stephanoff said the next step in the process will be to do a survey of the school’s roofs.

“With something that lasts 25 years, you don’t want to put it on a roof that only has five years of life left.”

If the results of the survey are favorable, he said the district’s solicitor will prepare a request for proposals. “If the board decides to move forward, we can send an RFP out, then decide what to do once we get proposals in.”

He estimated installing such a system would cost $1.6 million.

But Stephanoff is recommending the district pursue a power purchase agreement as an alternate way to get solar power “without having to pay anything out of pocket. It has minimal risks, both safety and financial-wise.”

He explained that involves finding a private business partner willing to invest in purchasing such a system, who would then recover up to 70 percent of the system’s cost reimbursed to them through federal tax credits.

Roving work sessions

Board Secretary Alice Bishop had been asked to investigate the possibility of the school board meeting at other schools in the district, rather than always meeting in the administration building just off Route 663 in Milford Township.

She said all the principals are willing to accommodate the board, but most elementary schools don’t have tables and chairs to accommodate adults at a meeting, so they would have to be trucked in.

She said most of them also don’t have sound systems, but some do have one hand-held microphone that would have to be passed around.

Some of the schools don’t have air-conditioning, some have limited parking, some don’t have enough custodians on duty and some have daycare until 6:30 p.m.

Bishop said the board could meet in the auditorium of Strayer Middle School. Because of renovations underway inside Quakertown High School, she said Strayer’s auditorium often is booked.

Stephanoff said the board also can meet in the high school, after work is completed in its auditorium.

Bottom line? “It sounds like we’re better off here,” said board vice president Gary Landes.

“I think doing regularly scheduled ones is too much to ask,” agreed Stephanoff. “Maybe we can think about doing one or two a year somewhere else, at one of the sites that is best.”

Commencement venue

The board gave Bishop a new assignment, to determine whether future high school commencements should be held outdoors on the district’s Alumni Field rather than continuing to have them in Lehigh University’s Stabler Arena.

Bishop’s mission will involve learning all the costs of having graduations at Stabler compared to the cost of having them at Alumni Field.

She will learn about the seating capacity at Stabler and what it would be at Alumni Field.

And she will find out what the district would do in the event of rain, including sudden thunderstorms.