State College

State College board to vote on master plan, proposed final budget

CDT photo

On Monday evening, the State College Area School District board of directors will vote on whether or not to approve an accelerated timeline for updating the 2014 District-Wide Facilities Master Plan. Potential renovations or new construction projects at Houserville, Radio Park and Corl Street elementary schools will all be under consideration.

The possible consolidation of the Lemont and Houserville schools, which has been mentioned in past master plans going back to 1999, also remains on the table.

The vote will come nearly a week before a state moratorium on PlanCon reimbursement for new projects. In order to remain eligible, the district must submit its PlanCon justifications for elementary school projects by May 15, which could potentially protect between $2.2 million and $2.4 million in state reimbursement for two projects.

PlanCon documents list the estimated maximum project costs for Houserville and Radio Park at between $16 million to $19 million each and Corl Street at between $10 million to $12 million. The PlanCon application does not lock the board into costs or design plans and the district can choose not to proceed with any of the proposed projects.

Back in April, the district also applied for a state Department of Community and Economic Development grant that could reimburse school projects by 10 percent and up to $2 million.

The grant application required the district to identify specific renovation or construction projects as possibilities. Radio Park and Houserville elementary schools were listed because they are projected to be the most costly to upgrade.

Monday evening’s vote does not commit the board to any particular course of action with regards to elementary school construction or renovation, but rather begins a process that will continue to unfold over the next several months.

Crabtree Rohrbaugh and Associates and Massaro Construction Management Services, the team leaders for the State High Project, will oversee the process of updating the master plan.

This includes developing initial designs for the selected schools and a demographic analysis of the district’s enrollment areas that will help to inform decisions about the elementary school projects moving forward.

Public feedback meetings will begin in May and community discussions about design options are scheduled for September.

The adoption of a final plan is targeted for October.

Elsewhere in the evening, the board will also vote on whether or not to approve the proposed final budget for 2016 -2017. The budget includes a 4.32 real estate tax increase, $144,611,162 in revenue and 146, 985,032 in expenses.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready