state high project

State College school board offers feedback to high school design team

mmorgan@centredaily.comOctober 29, 2013 

— The State College Area High School project design team members have been looking for some feedback from the school board and they got it Monday.

The board passed three motions at its meeting to provide the architect and engineering teams with feedback on building design, parking programs and use of athletic fields.

Physical Plant Director Ed Poprik said the votes don’t cement the plans but give the design team direction to continue.

A plan for the new building will continue to be designed in accordance with the proposed educational specifications and educational model that breaks the school up into smaller, decentralized learning communities to streamline the learning process.

The parking provisions would create between 757 and 825 total spaces, up from the current 720, and the athletic field usage would include four baseball diamonds, 13 tennis courts, a running track and seven rectangular fields. The field usage will cover all fall and spring sports.

The board also got a comprehensive report on the current work on the design, which included floor plans and site plans for both South Building options. One would put the new construction on the west side of the building and the other would put it in front of the current building in a crescent shape.

Each of the board members spoke in favor of the crescent design.

Board member Dorothea Stahl said having the new construction in front of the building will show off the new portion to the public in a more obvious way.

“Seeing a completely different facade out front is a much more overt look,” she said.

One step up from the sketch design phase, the updated floor plan starts to look at actual square footages. Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates architect John Beddia said he’d like to come back with more specific square footages and possibly a 3-D model for the next meeting, Nov. 11.

He said the models and designs take a good chunk of time, so the architects will focus more on the crescent design because it has garnered the most support.

The board can still go back for more development of the westward expansion option if there are major cost differences or other factors arise in the future.

The crescent option would place most of the parking on the north side of Westerly Parkway but would also include some available space behind the South Building, which would allow buses to loop around the building.

“We just think the flow of the traffic and some of the things that can be achieved at this site are more ideal,” Beddia said.

The crescent option will also likely be more efficient in terms of space utilization and walking time within the building, he added.

The community will get a chance to weigh in on the design next week at an interactive forum set for 7 p.m. Nov. 4 in the high school South Building.

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