Entries from April 2009 ↓

Moving Forward

Last night the School Board accepted a recommendation by the Facilities Citizens Advisory Committee to move forward with three of the elementary school projects which the District-Wide Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee proposed.   I’m pleased with the swift action of the board.  If all goes well, these projects will begin in summer 2010.  Most, if not all, of the costs of these three projects can be handled using the existing capital building reserve fund (~$24 million).

The three projects are:

  • The construction of a new school to replace Boalsburg and Panorama Village Elementary Schools and create a single K-5 school on the current Panorama Village/Mt. Nittany site.
  • The construction (or heavy renovation) of a new Ferguson Township School on the current site.
  • An addition to the Gray’s Woods Elementary School which would add four more classrooms.

The big concern is that the Ferguson Township School construction will have to be very sensitive to students around the site.  I’m confident that our architects will take this into account.  The Facilities CAC suggested that this project might need to be put off for a year so that students can be temporarily housed in the old Boalsburg or Panorama Village sites.

Things are starting to move…

Historic Renovation

Here’s an interesting opinion by JoDee Dyreson from Monday’s Centre Daily Times about historic renovation and Lemont School in particular.  She makes some good points.  I think Ferguson Township School is also a candidate for a historical renovation.  These are the kind of details that a design firm will have to take into consideration when these projects start moving forward.

DWFMP Steering Committee

I’ve been participating in the SCASD District Wide Facilities Master Plan
Steering Committee for the last 6 months.  I’m very impressed with Dr. Bill DeJong and his team at DeJong Associates and the way that they’ve included community input at every phase of the plan.  Dr. DeJong and his team are very experienced and the district has benefited from their knowledge and inclusive methodology.

On Wednesday, we had our eighth meeting of the Steering Committee and over the course of two and one half hours, worked our way through almost 15 recommendations.  I’m pleased with what we’ve come up with.  It represents some very good compromises and hours of thoughtful discussion.  The plan will now go forward to the School Board at a work session on April 20.  I believe the recommendations provide a broad framework for moving forward over the next 10-15 years, without locking the School Board into decisions which are not supported by the community or the economic circumstances.