New additions discussed for Center Grange Primary School

TWP CENTER. – Renovations are being discussed for Center Grange Elementary School to provide full-time kindergarten to all students.

In a letter, the district said it was offering half-day kindergarten with an extended day option for those who qualify.

The new program would provide a full-day experience for all students, which would extend an additional four hours to include practical classes like art, music, technology and physical education.

Context of the project

The district said a committee was formed in September 2019 by the school board to study the feasibility of offering full-day kindergarten.

This desire for full-day kindergarten was identified in 2015 in a previous study, before the Todd Lane Primary School renovation project in 2017.

The district said the committee and council have evaluated this idea and investigated to ensure it does not negatively impact the core schedule, curriculum, resources, special education services, cafeteria operations, transportation, staffing, facility requirements and school budget.

The proposed new addition to Center Grange Primary would add new classrooms and other facilities to accommodate full-day kindergarten.

Center Grange Primary School was first built in 2010.

Project specifics

In total, the neighborhood offers new additions of 26,000 square feet.

If built, the renovations would allow the school to accommodate a maximum of 675 students from kindergarten through second grade.

According to the district, the main renovation would be a new addition of approximately 16,000 square feet, which would include full-day kindergarten classrooms, general classrooms, special education classrooms and support spaces. , a music room, a small group teaching space, a large group instruction space and support spaces.

The idea of ​​full-day kindergarten for all students was studied by the school board, a special committee formed in 2019.

The new structure would be a one-story load-bearing masonry structure, have a low-slope EPDM roof system, and connect the kindergarten wing to the first-grade wing.

The district also offers another separate gymnasium of approximately 10,000 square feet, along with additional alternatives to deal with aging HVAC, technology, and security systems.

The proposed new gymnasium would serve as a dedicated space for elementary school students to participate in physical education activities, as well as additional space for the district for school and community programs.

The proposed alternative gymnasium would have a bleacher grandstand with a capacity of 100 seats and a designated entrance/exit vestibule.

The school district is also considering a new gymnasium project for Center Grange Primary, along with other alternatives to help deal with aging HVAC, technology and security systems.

The district said that based on state code, the proposed new addition should have a storm shelter, depending on the geographic location of the project.

In previous school board meetings, Cumberland County-based Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, the architectural firm behind the project, said the playground would be moved and parts of the existing irrigation should be removed or modified.

They are said to be considering new parking areas for the building, as well as adjusting the football fields behind the school to relocate, resize or remove them.

Work completed to date

The company said geotechnical, structural and civil engineering work has been completed, it has conducted a preliminary building code review, conducted tests for municipal water flow, which determined that a fire pump would not be required, and finalized the design development budget.

The school board then held a public meeting on March 17, as required by Pennsylvania Law 34 of 1973, to discuss the entire proposed project and its cost.

Project cost and estimated schedule

The total cost of the project must not exceed $11. 65 million, with the firm saying the project could be completed in 2023.

The Board of Directors therefore plans to subscribe to a bond issue in order to finance the project.

This cost is split between new construction and renovations.

This is an early design drawing of what the proposed kindergarten addition would like when complete.

The board said staffing for new teachers and support staff would result in an estimated total annual increase in salaries and benefits of $900,000.

In total, the sum of the total costs would make it possible to anticipate a total impact on the mileage rate of the district’s real estate domain of 4.05 thousandths.

District Superintendent Nicholas Perry said the council plans to submit bids for the project in late April or early May whenever the necessary permits are obtained.

He said the board will determine what funding to take if it decides to go ahead with the project once bids come back.

The school board will consider its financial options, as well as whether it wants to continue moving forward with the project, once project bids are received.

In 2016, a district-wide feasibility study was completed, with additional options in 2021, focused on bringing schools in the district up to current construction standards, as well as improving educational programs.

Perry said there is work to be done at Central Valley Middle School and Central Valley High School.

Different options were presented, following the feasibility study, ranging from $59.2M to $86.5M, to pay for all the necessary updates to all the schools.

Perry said the board, going forward, will need to discuss the district’s financial ability to pay for the projects, as he said nothing is set in stone yet.

The school board’s finance committee will meet in April to discuss the proposed project, as well as other matters related to the district’s five-year plan.

Nicholas Vercilla is a reporter for the Beaver County Times. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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