LIVINGSTON, NJ - Construction is humming along as planned in the Livingston School District, and all work is expected to be complete before the fall semester begins. As of Monday's Board of Education meeting, several schools' repairs and renovations were about 95% complete, and all projects were running smoothly. The only hiccup has been the rejection of Photovoltaic Panels bids, though the project will not be delayed because of it.

The decision to reject the bids came about when the district was advised by one of the bidders that the manufacturer of the panels would not provide pricing to all who asked for it. In order to insure fair and open competition to all bidders, the school board rejected the bids and is revising the project specifications in order to prevent unfair practices. According to Steven Robinson, business administrator for the district, this will not be an issue in completing the project on time.

Use of the solar panels will reduce energy costs in the district by about $60,000 the first year, and will increase to several hundreds of thousands of dollars beginning in the second year as the district is able to sell its excess energy.

Also discussed at the meeting was the search for a new Special Ed Assistant Superintendent.  Superintendent Brad Draeger also spotlighted the success enjoyed by Heritage Middle School students involved with the Technology Student Association and he gave an update on the gifted and talented program.

Dr. Draeger suggested that parents who would like to be involved in the search for the new assistant superintendent should keep their eyes open for a note from Jessica Ganz in the next few days. They will be organizing the search team soon, and plan to set an August meeting.

Heritage Middle School students traveled to Baltimore with their teacher Ken Zushma to participate in the National TSA competition. The following students participated:

-Vivie Lee and Jayne Linn were finalists in the Construction Challenge.

-Andy Ponici and Jon Wong placed 8th in the Electronic Game Chalenge.

-Veda Nambi and Ashwini Ramanathan competed in the Medical Technology Challenge.

- Rinat Alelov presented a speech to the panel of nationaljudges on "Tomorrow's Leaders."

-Puja Deshpande placed 6th in the Technical Writing Challenge.

-Gabi Romano designed and created an aerodynamic dragster.

-Menglong Guo and Christina Tai built gliders on site.

Finally, the superintendent reported that, while art is popular and will be available in all the schools this year, music is less so and will be only in two elementary schools—Burnet Hill and Harrison. Students from other schools will travel to a 7 to 7:40 a.m. class to participate.