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Chambersburg School Board gets peek at academic wing of Career and Technology Center

April 11, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The Chambersburg School Board got a look this week at what an academic wing for its students at the Franklin County Career and Technology Center might look like and cost.

Architect Tom Crabtree on Wednesday presented a preliminary concept for a two-story, 86,000-square-foot addition to the center that would cost about $17 million to build. The wing would accommodate about 300 students each semester, while up to another 300 district students would be attending career courses in the technology center.

Additionally, there would be differentiated programming labs for 100 or more students who would not take regular career courses. Superintendent Joseph Padasak said these classes would not be for "problem students," but for students in need of "life skills" training.

The proposal indicated the district would need to buy about 12 acres of land at the career center compound, now jointly owned by an authority created by the county's six school districts and run by a joint operating committee.

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The cost of the land was not included in Crabtree's estimated price tag for the building. Soft costs, such as furnishings, equipment, and architectural and engineering fees also would be additional, he said.

Chambersburg, along with the Waynesboro, Greencastle-Antrim, Shippensburg, Tuscarora and Fannett-Metal school districts, have been trying to come to an agreement on a plan for a $15 million renovation and expansion of the 40-year-old center. Chambersburg also wants the academic wing on site so that its students may attend the center year-round instead of one semester.

The drawings for the academic wing show a gymnasium, courtyard and separate parking for the Chambersburg students and faculty, although the buildings would be joined and students from all the districts would share some facilities, Crabtree said.

"It makes no sense to have two cafeterias and two libraries," Crabtree said. The center's existing cafeteria would be expanded and a new library would be built, he said.

Padasak asked whether the center renovations and academic wing construction could be accomplished during the same period of time during which Chambersburg Area Senior High School is undergoing its $73.8 million renovation. Crabtree said that would be an optimistic schedule.

The other school districts still have to approve participating in the $15 million center upgrade.

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