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Increase in size of school forces exclusion of tennis courts

December 13, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A land development plan for a new U.L. Gordy Elementary School excluding lighted tennis courts will be on next week's consent agenda for the Chambersburg Borough Council.

In 2005, the borough reached an agreement with the Chambersburg Area School District on land for the elementary school on Miller Street that would include the borough's West End Playground, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said. As part of that agreement, the school district agreed to install playground equipment, a basketball court and two lighted tennis courts on the 8-acre site.

The district, however, has since increased the size of the proposed school to more than four classrooms for each grade. The increased size of the building and the additional parking area required will not allow for the school to build the tennis courts without acquiring more land, Oyer said.

The council met in a brief executive session before agreeing to place the land development plan on the Monday agenda, Oyer said.

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"The land development plan, as presented, meets the requirements of the borough's land development and subdivision plan," said Oyer. While it is on the agenda for next week, the council has 90 days to do so and could wait until the 2005 agreement with the district is changed to reflect the removal of the tennis courts.

"I think the council will be looking to have an amended agreement with the school district before they approve the land development plan," Oyer said.

The elementary school project's cost, including site development, construction and furnishings and equipment, is not to exceed $21.1 million, according to a vote taken by the school board earlier this year.

Scheduled to open for the 2008-09 school year, the school would have a capacity of 600 students.

At tonight's school board meeting, Paul Taylor of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates will give a presentation to the board on planning for an expansion of Chambersburg Area Senior High School.

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