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Realignment proposal considered by Waynesboro School Board

April 25, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro School Board is looking at realigning grades kindergarten through 12 as a way to avoid spending millions of dollars on new construction, the schools superintendent said Wednesday.

The proposal under consideration would put 10th- through 12th-graders in Waynesboro Area Senior High School, put eighth- and ninth-graders in the current Waynesboro Area Middle School, all sixth- and seventh-graders into Summitview Elementary School and all kindergarten through fifth-grade students in the district's three elementary schools.

The plan being proposed would require adding classrooms to Hooverville Elementary School to handle the added elementary school students.

The proposals were outlined at a board meeting this week by Lance Landauer, a former superintendent who served as interim superintendent in Waynesboro until Barry L. Dallara was hired for the permanent post last year.

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After hearing Landauer's presentation, the board voted to authorize EI Associates, a Harrisburg, Pa., architectural consulting firm to study the proposal. The study will be done at no charge to the district.

Dallara said Landauer visited all of the district's schools, spoke with building officials and feedback groups, and reviewed studies that have been done concerning school construction proposals and facility needs. The last major renovation in the district was completed in 1990, Dallara said.

"This is something that makes sense when you look at it initially. On the surface, it makes sense but architects and engineers have to look at it. We need the professionals to say so," Dallara said.

He said the realignment is a long-range plan to address the district's future needs. School planners are projecting an enrollment increase of about 150 students in the next eight years.

Dallara said it doesn't take into account the proposed 169-unit Glen Afton subdivision, the Quincy public sewer project already under way, and the fact that commuter train service from Frederick, Md., to Washington, D.C., will be within an easy drive for Waynesboro-area residents who want to work in Washington.

"You have to look where you are and what's going on around you," Dallara said. "We have to plan ahead. We need a long-range plan to phase into and this is what appears to be the cheapest way. We're only formalizing a plan. We're not proposing work."

The district is at capacity in most school buildings. The high school holds classes in three modular buildings.

"There's no extra room, no flexibility in any building," Dallara said.

The district would have problems should there be a sudden and significant hike in enrollment, Dallara said.

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