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Meeting set to hear high school plans

A parents advisory group wants the Chambersburg School Board to set a timeline for a decision to be made on building a new schoo

A parents advisory group wants the Chambersburg School Board to set a timeline for a decision to be made on building a new schoo

July 23, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A parents' group has asked the Chambersburg School Board to make a decision on building a new high school by October and put to rest a discussion that began months ago.

Lori Leedy, vice president of the Parent Advisory Council, read a letter from President Alan R. Kohler to the Chambersburg Board of School Directors at its meeting last week asking the board to set a timeline for the decision.

The board is considering whether to build a new "mega high school" that would house grades nine through 12 or build a second high school and split the students between the new school and the existing crowded facility on Sixth Street.

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"The members of the Parent Advisory Council are deeply concerned about the continuing indecision regarding the configuration and final plans to upgrade the Chambersburg High School," the letter states.

"We recognize the importance, cost and long-term impact of this enormous decision, but we also are aware of the academic and business effects on our increasingly inadequate school facilities on our entire community."

Kohler's letter established a timeline, recommending the board spend the next 60 days reviewing the cost analysis and public opinion regarding the current three choices before the board and adopting a final position at its October meeting.

Board members did not comment on the letter at Wednesday's meeting, but the board is scheduled to discuss the concept of two high schools and receive a report on operational costs at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Aug. 7, Superintendent Edwin Sponseller said.

The three options before the board include:

n Two high schools to house grades nine through 12. That would require building a new high school north of town for about $48 million and renovating the existing high school for about $39 million.

n One high school for grades 10 through 12 at the existing building and locating ninth-graders at the middle school. Renovating Chambersburg Area Senior High School would still be necessary and cost about $39 million, and it would cost about $35 million to build another middle school that would split the sixth, seventh and eighth grades with J. Frank Faust Junior High School.

n Build one "mega high school" for grades nine through 12 that would house up to 3,000 students and cost about $86 million.

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