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Ninth-grade academy high on wish list for Pa. school board

August 17, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Three ideas for the renovation of Waynesboro Area Senior High School - costing from $24 million to $40 million - are being kicked around by the Waynesboro Area School Board.

School board members Tuesday asked Mark S. Barnhart of EI Associates, the board's architect, to return Sept. 13 with more details and better cost estimates on the project.

The board wants to include a separate ninth-grade academy in any plan that is selected.

Last week, members decided it needed an additional 22 classrooms and more gymnasium and auditorium space.

The school has about 1,200 students, but projected housing growth in the district is expected to increase that number in the coming years.

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The board agreed that it wants to go to bid on the renovations in May 2006 in order to take advantage of the summer construction season when school is not in session. The target date for completion is December 2007.

Barnhart said his first alternative to the original plan is to move the auditorium outside the school in a new building. The ninth-grade academy, a new secure main entrance and the new auditorium would be built on the east side of the high school at the site of the existing main entrance.

The media center and expanded dining facilities would move into the space occupied by the auditorium. The existing auditorium has a seating capacity of 850. Moving it out to a new building would increase the capacity to 1,200 or even 1,400 with a balcony, according to the plan.

The gym would be expanded into the courtyard. Its cost is pegged by Barnhart at $35 million. The gym can be expanded in the core building, but the auditorium cannot be, he said.

For $40 million, a new gym would be built outside the building adjacent to the new auditorium. The ninth-grade academy would connect the new buildings to the main building.

Barnhart said this alternative, in addition to meeting all of the board's space needs, would separate the gym and auditorium, the facilities the public usually use, from the school's academic areas.

The board earlier voted to borrow up to $40 million to pay for renovations to the high school and other school buildings. Barnhart's third alternative would use up the entire $40 million on the high school alone.

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