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CASHS renovations reach auditorium

Those following progress of project will soon be able to get updates online

Those following progress of project will soon be able to get updates online

June 13, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. -- Hundreds of seats from the auditorium of Chambersburg Area Senior High School were in the parking lot Friday, removed as part of the school's $73.8 million expansion and renovation of the 53-year-old building.

"The building is currently undergoing asbestos abatement on the first floor, the tech education wing and the music wing," said Sylvia Rockwood, the district's director of information services. "Once that is completed, the project will continue with demolition of the tech wing and portions of the music wing."

The auditorium itself will be refurbished, with new choral, band and other music facilities being added behind the theater, according to the plans.

Rockwood did not know what was to happen to the rows and rows of auditorium seats that were removed, but new ones have been purchased to replace them. The stage curtains from the auditorium will be getting reused, with the school board recently approving their donation to The Capitol Theatre in downtown Chambersburg.

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Footers and foundation work are under way for the school's new 2,400-seat gymnasium, the first major piece of construction.

Those interested in watching the project's progress will, in the near future, be able to go to the district's Web site, where views of the work will be available via video cameras, Rockwood said.

"People will be able to follow the progress of construction from the comfort of their own homes," she said.

Construction Project Manager Kevin Weller wrote in a recent memorandum that about 20 construction workers were working on the gymnasium foundation, and exterior excavation was under way around much of the school.

The project is scheduled for completion in January 2011. The other major piece of the expansion is a second classroom wing.

The high school has grades 10, 11 and 12, but ninth-graders will be moved from Faust Junior High School after completion. The district plans to convert Faust and Chambersburg Area Middle School into two middle schools for grades six through eight.

Meanwhile, the district's other major project, Benjamin Chambers Elementary School, was about two weeks behind schedule because of inclement weather, Weller wrote. Contractors have committed to increasing manpower and working overtime to get the project back on schedule for completion in November.

Once Chambers opens, the district will close the Mary B. Sharpe and King Street schools and move the former U.L. Gordy Elementary School students from Fayetteville Elementary School to Benjamin Chambers.

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