Design team begins detail work on State College high school concept

mmorgan@centredaily.comSeptember 17, 2013 

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The State College school board discussed the State High renovation project Monday with the architectural and design team.

ABBY DREY — CDT file photo Buy Photo

Now that a final design concept for the State College Area High School project has been chosen, the architectural and design team must fully develop a plan.

John Beddia, of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates, and Matt Harlow, of the ELA Group, attended a work session Monday to hear board thoughts and begin to hammer out specific design points.

Harlow said the team needs direction from the board because the building project can go in any number of ways.

“We need to understand what the desire is, what’s exactly needed,” he said. “We know what’s required.”

One issue is how the north side of Westerly Parkway will be utilized. The chosen concept locates all core academic classes on the south side of the street, but the north would still have some function.

The board has talked about using the north side for the gyms, the pool, the Delta Program and as a community center.

Though the plan for the north side will not directly affect the educational model and South Building construction, it will affect the overall site plan, Harlow said.

He said at least a portion of the building would likely need to be demolished to open up space for parking and future expansion.

“I think, from a site perspective, I really need to know that soon,” he said of the board’s vision for the north side.

Physical Plant Director Ed Poprik said he would like a see a timeline for site development and future planning to be established by the Sept. 23 board meeting.

Beddia said putting that schedule together with as much detail as possible should be the top priority to help set the tone for the rest of the process.

The board also heard a proposal about the potential “buy-a-brick” campaign for the new brick walkway that is being built on Fraser Street as part of the Memorial Field project.

District officials think the campaign can bring in between $500,000 and $2 million. The district would join with Affinity Connection, which would manage the campaign and provide advice.

Affinity would help the district reach out to alumni and facilitate advertising to get the campaign rolling.

The proposal is expected to be brought before the board for action at the Sept. 23 regular meeting.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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