State College

See why a state grant awarded to SCASD might need to be returned

State College Area School District was awarded a multimillion-dollar grant Friday from the state to put toward potential elementary school building construction projects.

According to a report from the district, two alternative and clean energy grants totaling more than $3.8 million were awarded to the district through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

District spokesman Chris Rosenblum said the district designated Houserville and Radio Park elementary schools as the grants’ beneficiaries “because potential projects for the schools would derive the largest reimbursements.”

“Both projects, which would be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification standards, are in the preliminary design phase,” he said.

Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Rush Township, said the grants include $1.96 million for Radio Park and $1.87 million for Houserville.

“Both of the schools are more than 50 years old and these extensive upgrades will allow the State College Area School District to continue to serve kindergarten through fifth-grade students for many years to come in larger, modern, energy efficient buildings,” Conklin said in a statement.

However, district business manager Randy Brown said the grants would have to be returned to the state if the projects are not completed.

The district unveiled an elementary school master plan in the spring that calls for updates, renovations and/or a consolidation to elementary schools.

They are Corl Street, Radio Park and Houserville and Lemont elementary schools.

The proposal, as described early last month by administration during a series of public forums, includes eight plans drafted by design firm Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, which the school board will vote on in the fall.

Rosenblum said the district is “pursuing an accelerated master planning update, months ahead of schedule, due to the grants.”

“To take advantage of significant state funding and save local tax dollars, the administration moved quickly to apply for the grants before an April 1 deadline,” he said.

That also means if the projects were to be approved by the board, the schools would require significant construction by June 2018.

The district is planning more public forums to inform the community on the plans and solicit feedback.

The next forum is 7 p.m. July 18 at Ferguson Township Elementary School.

Britney Milazzo: 814-231-4648, @M11azzo

SCASD elementary school project options

Option 1

Radio Park

Additions/renovations

Houserville

Additions/renovations

Corl Street

Additions/renovations

Lemont

Repurpose

Option 2

Radio Park

Additions/renovations

Houserville

Additions/renovations

Corl Street

Repurpose

Lemont

Repurpose

Option 3

Radio Park

New construction

Houserville

New construction

Corl Street

Additions/renovations

Lemont

Repurpose

Option 4

Radio Park

New construction

Houserville

New construction

Corl Street

Repurpose

Lemont

Repurpose

Option 5

Radio Park

Additions/renovations

Houserville

New construction

Corl Street

Additions/renovations

Lemont

Repurpose

Option 6

Radio Park

Additions/renovations

Houserville

New construction

Corl Street

Repurpose

Lemont

Repurpose

Option 7

Radio Park

New construction

Houserville

Additions/renovations

Corl Street

Additions/renovations

Lemont

Repurpose

Option 8

Radio Park

New construction

Houserville

Additions/renovations

Corl Street

Repurpose

Lemont

Repurpose

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