About a year from now, construction could start on a new elementary school, Houserville, while two others in the State College Area School District could see renovations and additions: Corl Street and Radio Park.
It will bring our entire elementary portfolio into a modern unit.
Ed Poprik, director of physical plant at SCASD
“It will bring our entire elementary portfolio into a modern unit,” District Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik said.
Earlier this month, Poprik told the Centre Region Planning Commission that bids for the project will start in the fall with construction taking place in 2018. The goal is to open the buildings in time for the 2019-20 school year.
Architectural firm Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates oversaw the process of updating the master plan, conducting a districtwide needs assessment of the elementary schools and comparing the costs of new construction versus additions/renovations at each school.
Costs range from $15.9 million to $21 million per individual building project
Costs range from $15.9 million to $21 million per individual building project, but Poprik said the district received grant money for Houserville and Radio Park elementary school projects to help offset costs. All three projects are also eligible for state reimbursements.
Two of the projects — Houserville and Radio Park — call for the elimination of an all-purpose room that serves as a cafeteria and gymnasium and, in its place, the creation of two separates spaces for the cafeteria and gym. Radio Park and Corl Street could also see added capacity after a demographic study found kindergarten-through-12th grade growth on the west side of the Centre Region, from Grays Woods through Park Forest and into the areas served by Corl Street and Radio Park elementary schools.
“Each school has attendance areas that border each other,” Poprik said. “So, as we look at growth in those areas by adding some capacity, we will have the ability to maintain reasonable attendance at each of the schools and potentially shift lines slightly if (we) needed to equal out some of the attendance issues.”
Buildings will likely bee LEED-certified
All three schools will remain open while the renovations and construction are ongoing — and all three could be going green — or at least greener.
Poprik added that all three projects plan to be constructed with Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold standards in mind.
The idea, Poprik said, is to limit paved surfaces, storm water and heat island effect. To be eligible for green building certification, construction plans must be submitted to the municipality where the building is located with noted space that is LEED qualified.
The next step, Poprik said is to additionally look at alternative energy like solar power.