On Monday evening, the State College Area school board reviewed the results of a demographic study of the district’s enrollment areas.
The study was completed as part of the districtwide facilities master plan, with an eye toward determining how to proceed with potential elementary school projects.
Among the conclusions drawn from the results is the possibility that the district may add as many as 600 students over the course of the next decade, approximately 300 of which could be of elementary school age.
Those results reflect the number of housing developments currently or projected to be under construction.
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At present, the elementary capacity is 3,358 based on 23 students per classroom. The addition of one classroom per grade would leave the total number of available seats at 3,496.
Working from the data gathered from the demographic study, the district has whittled potential elementary school projects into five possible scenarios.
The first would involve repurposing Corl Street and implementing a four classrooms per grade configuration at Houserville and Radio Park. One possible issue is that without the inconvenience of a long bus ride, there aren’t enough students to satisfy this end of the plan at Houserville.
Scenario two is of a similar ilk, moving students into a three classroom per grade configuration at Houserville and four classrooms per grade configuration at Radio Park. For this to work, one additional classroom per grade would also be required at Easterly Parkway Elementary.
In the third scenario, Corl Street would remain an elementary school and be renovated alongside Houserville and Radio Park. Each would have three classrooms per grade.
The next two scenarios are more exploratory in nature, devised with an eye toward determining the potential costs and providing a point of comparison to the three aforementioned options.
Scenario four calls for six buildings, at undecided locations, with four classrooms per grade. There would be a total of three elementary schools that feed into each of the middle schools.
The last scenario would have five buildings, at undecided locations, with five classrooms per grade, which would require a split attendance to feed into the middle schools.
Randy Brown, business administrator at SCASD, said that the district will continue its analysis of the demographic study in advance of a board work session scheduled for Aug. 31.
“The project cost estimates are being refined,” Brown said.
During the meeting, the board also voted to approve several change orders to the State High project, totaling $38,713.31.
Additionally, expansion joints have been added in multiple building locations at a cost not to exceed $8,000, unsuitable soils were replaced at the track retaining wall at a cost not to exceed $4,000 and piping was added to several lab locations at a cost not to exceed $8,800.
Tim Jones, a project manager with Massaro Construction Management Services, provided an update on the overall progress of the project, which is on schedule as workers prepare for the start of the school year.
“We’re coming off what I would consider a very productive summer,” Jones said.