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Board votes to build new elementary school

January 12, 2006|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to build a new U.L. Gordy Elementary School with four classrooms for each grade.

The $14 million school on Miller Street is expected to open for the 2008-09 school year, Business Manager Rick Vensel said.

The vote resolved the issue of how big the school would be, with some board members having in the past advocated a school with three classrooms per grade. Board member Lori Leedy said the decision addresses the issue of student population growth for that part of the district.

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In advance of the project, the district acquired a 4.6-acre playground from the borough at no cost to incorporate into the site of the school, which will be built next to the present U.L. Gordy Elementary. The board had been split 5-4 on acquiring the land with opponents wanting the school at another site.

The board also is moving ahead with plans for a new Fayetteville Elementary School, next to the existing school on Mont Alto Road. The $14.6 million school also will have four classrooms for each grade and Vensel said the project should be ready to bid in April.

Fayetteville is scheduled to open in time for the 2007-08 school year, Vensel said. Six acres of the land for the new school was donated by the family of the late George Hartzell, a former school board member and businessman.

Vensel said the district will also be ready in April to advertise for bids for the addition of a new wing on Hamilton Heights Elementary on Johnson Road. That project to relieve overcrowding at that school is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Also approved by the board was a $2.46 million energy performance contract for Guilford Hills Elementary School on Lincoln Way East. The project will replace the school's aging heating system and install air-conditioning.

Richard Bender, the district's director of Buildings and Grounds, said last week the new equipment will extend the life of the building eight or 10 years. The project, which includes electrical, lighting and other upgrades, is expect

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