The deteriorating Fairmount Building auditorium served as the venue for an information fair Tuesday on the future of the Delta Program.
Ceiling tiles in the auditorium were stripped off years ago to prevent any from falling. Seats in the back two rows were moved to the front, because front row seats had fallen apart from too much use. Windows were opened to cool the auditorium during the information fair, because an inefficient heating system makes it too hot inside for comfort.
These are just a few issues school district administrators, board members, faculty and students want to move on from, so they discussed what could be when Delta is housed in the State High North Building, hopefully by the 2018-19 school year. About 30 people attended.
Framework designs for the Delta Program were revealed to be in place, but the project design team needs to continue to develop plans for some areas that will be shared by Delta High and Middle students, which includes a multipurpose instructional area in the middle of the building
“That’s like the the hub of the building, and that’s going to evolve, because right now it’s a concept that’s been received in a positive manner, and we’ll continue to develop that for the 60 percent design review, ” Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associate architect Jessie Harder said.
Harder had three meetings with Delta faculty and school district administrators to update them on designs before the information fair.
“We can’t build something without talking to the people we’re building it for, so that’s a big reason why we had this meeting tonight and the earlier meetings, because we wanted to hear more from the community,” Harder said. “The feedback today was mostly questions or clarifications or positive feedback, so we feel good.”
Anna Childe, of State College, said positives she took away from the designs are that the new building will be more sustainable, energy efficient and accessible, but that the project design team needs to also focus on the logistical flow of students.
“I think they probably need to spend more time within the logic of their plans, because it’s two separate schools and they need to figure how students work and flow together,” Childe said.
Kim Horn, of State College, will be sad to see the Fairmount Building go unused by students in a few years.
“I think it’s necessary given the cost of the alternatives, but I’m sad to see a move from this location,” Horn said. “I see the need and why they’re doing it this way, but it’d be nice if it could stay here.”
Not everyone in the community supports Delta’s inclusion in the State High project, specifically the $4.5 million addition for Delta Middle, but no one during the information fair spoke against it.
The board conditionally added it to the project Nov. 10 by an 8-1 vote. The condition, motioned for by board member Jim Pawelczyk, is that administrators update Delta Middle’s educational plans and specifications.
Alternatives to housing the Delta Middle program would cost $8 million to $20 million, the most expensive option being the renovation of the Fairmount Building.
“I think the important thing to understand is that if this building is maintained beyond the next few years it will require a very substantial financial investment,” Poprik said. “It’s up to the board and community if they feel that this building warrants that amount of investment to keep it going.”
Kim Horn’s daughter, Kate, who attends Delta Middle, said she would miss attending school in the Fairmount Building, but she won’t everything about it.
“The auditorium is way too hot, especially on the stage,” Kate Horn said.