Bigger school, without the pool

December 15, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - A renovated Chambersburg Area Senior High School will not include an indoor pool following the school board's vote this week on an option that would cost approximately $70 million to build.

The board voted 7-0 late Wednesday to direct the Building Construction Team to incorporate elements of the $70 million option into the design of a renovated and much-expanded high school, Business Manager Rick Vensel said.

The building team and the architect are to return in February to present the board with a more refined plan for the school.

That plan calls for a renovated auditorium, rather than demolishing the existing theater and replacing it with a new one. Architect Paul Taylor told the board a new auditorium would cost about $3.6 million.


The cost of renovating the existing auditorium still has to be determined, Vensel said.

Taylor told the board that it does not meet current Americans with Disabilities Act standards, in part, because the floor's angle is too steep.

The board also determined it wants to build a new gymnasium that will be able to hold all of the 2,000 students that are expected to attend the high school, Vensel said. There would be no reduction in classroom sizes, which was one option for reducing costs that Taylor discussed.

The project would still more than double the size of the 200,000-square-foot school. All the options outlined Wednesday by Taylor called for placing each grade in its own area, with the ninth and 10th grades in the renovated second and third floors of the existing school and the 11th and 12th grades on the second and third floors of a new wing.

Each grade would have 16 classrooms and four science labs, as well as classrooms for special education programs and storage areas, according to the plans. There also would be a three-story technology addition for labs for the school's career pathways program.

The first floor of the central corridor of the school, which now has some classrooms, would be dedicated largely to a cafeteria and food court capable of serving about 700 students at a sitting. A larger kitchen would be added on to the first floor, along with a corridor next to the building for easier access by students.

The school's library has 1,756 square feet of floor space, less than half the size of the library being built in the new Fayetteville Elementary School. The plan calls for a 12,000-square-foot library.

Taylor, who said the project would not be ready for bids until the fall of 2008, presented several options to the board, ranging from $50 million to $81 million. The indoor pool would have cost about $4 million, he said.

The project would take at least two years to complete. The ninth-grade classes would not be added until the project is completed.

The 50-year-old high school can hold about 1,600 students in grades 10 to 12. The expanded school would be capable of holding 2,000 students, including the ninth-graders who now attend Faust Junior High School. A demographic study for the district predicted its population could exceed 3,000 by 2015.

As part of a secondary reconfiguration plan, the district is planning to expand its career and technology program, either with a comprehensive vocational and academic center at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center or a separate facility.

High school math

Some of the changes included in the $70 million Chambersburg Area Senior High School renovation/expansion project approved by a 7-0 vote by the Chambersburg School Board:

· Renovated auditorium

· New gymnasium

· Larger cafeteria and food court on the first floor

· A 12,000-square-foot library

· Grades nine to 12 in separate areas

· Three-story technology addition

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