Education

SCASD could narrow elementary project options further

State College Area school board could hear a recommendation at Monday’s meeting that would drop three options from the original eight on the table for changes to elementary schools. Should that happen, the last scenario standing would call for additions or renovations to Radio Park, Houserville and Corl Street and the repurposing of Lemont Elementary.
State College Area school board could hear a recommendation at Monday’s meeting that would drop three options from the original eight on the table for changes to elementary schools. Should that happen, the last scenario standing would call for additions or renovations to Radio Park, Houserville and Corl Street and the repurposing of Lemont Elementary. psheehan@centredaily.com

On Monday evening, the State College Area School District is expected to recommend that the board of directors vote to eliminate three more options from the original list of eight scenarios for elementary school projects.

The board was originally scheduled to make a final selection on Nov. 14, but with the number of potential outcomes steadily dwindling, that decision could arrive as soon as the Oct. 24 meeting.

During a previous meeting held on Sept. 26, the board had elected to eliminate half of the proposed options, all of which would have called for the repurposing of Corl Street Elementary.

Now, the district is recommending that the board vote to remove all three scenarios that would involve new construction at Radio Park Elementary and Houserville Elementary.

The recommendation would come on the heels of an analysis performed by the architectural firm of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates, which determined that new construction at both Houserville and Radio Park collectively would cost $3.8 million more than additions or renovations.

In a memo to the board, the district outlined other potential obstacles, chief among them being spatial constraints. New construction at Corl Street, for example, would require relocating the students into another school. Similar efforts at Radio Park would require the relocation of transportation services. At present, neither is on the table.

Should the board choose to eliminate all three of the remaining options involving new construction, the last scenario standing would call for additions or renovations to Radio Park, Houserville and Corl Street and the repurposing of Lemont Elementary.

The board unanimously authorized a Section 780 hearing during the Sept. 26 meeting. Under the Pennsylvania School Code, this is the first step in a five-part process for permanently closing Lemont in conjunction with a master planning recommendation that would see it combined with sister school Houserville.

Design work on the elementary school projects is expected to begin in November, with a bid process kicking off some time during late summer.

Construction would begin that fall and continue through the spring of 2019.

Another community forum on elementary school projects will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. at Mt. Nittany Middle School.

Frank Ready: 814-231-4620, @fjready

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