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Many Franklin County, Pa. schools undergoing renovations

July 25, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Dwight Needham, Waynesboro Area School District's supervisor of maintenance and facilities, talks Wednesday about the need for new flooring in the cafeteria at Fairview Elementary School.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Several Franklin County, Pa., schools look drastically different than they did when classes let out for the summer.

In the Waynesboro Area School District, for instance, furniture is stacked up and ceiling tiles have been removed in several schools as the district tackles several large-scale projects.

At Waynesboro Area Senior High School, a pair of classrooms are being renovated for alternative education students. Workers are finishing their efforts and preparing to put the ceiling in place.

Other Waynesboro schools are being renovated through a three-phase, $14.3 million contract with McClure Co., a subsidiary of PPL Energy of Harrisburg, Pa. The projects are designed to create energy savings that will make payments on the financing.

Fairview Elementary School’s stone roof is being replaced with modern materials, including insulation.

“They had to come in and take all the stone off,” said Dwight Needham, Waynesboro Area School District’s supervisor of maintenance and facilities.

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Classroom air systems from 1988 are being replaced at Waynesboro Area Middle School. That school is getting a new exhaust system.

“A lot of the exhaust systems at that building and Summitview (Elementary School) were 33 years old,” Needham said.

HVAC systems are being upgraded across the district, including at Mowrey Elementary School, where 30 classroom ventilation units await installation.

“Hooverville and Mowrey (elementary schools), we have completely torn apart,” Needham said, adding that Mowrey Elementary School recently received a new cooling tower and is undergoing well work.

Plumbing improvements, including the installation of toilets designed to use less water, are under way at a couple of buildings.

Fourteen rooms at the middle school will have new floor tile, as will 24 rooms at Summitview Elementary School and 18 classrooms at Fairview Elementary School. Trash bins outside Fairview Elementary School now hold its decades-old classroom carpet.

Fairview Elementary School students will be eating at new cafeteria tables. They soon could have a tiled cafeteria floor and repaired gymnasium floor, depending on those estimated costs.

Needham pushed his finger into Fairview Elementary School’s cafeteria/gymansium floor to show how it is soft and susceptible to tears. A rubberized product coats concrete there.

“We’re hoping to get this floor worked on,” he said.

Needham hopes this summer marks the end of large-scale projects, so crews can focus on smaller, detailed initiatives for the next few years. They also have a list of teacher-requested items to tackle during the academic year.

District employees will be moving printing operations from the administrative building on Clayton Avenue to Waynesboro Area Senior High School. Work areas also will be established there for the technology department.

In the Tuscarora School District, renovations at Mercersburg Elementary School will be “substantially completed” before the first day of school, according to Business Manager Eric Holtzman.

Four classrooms in the school have been converted into a new district office, allowing Tuscarora officials to sell their existing central office building (118 E. Seminary St.) in mid-August. Phone numbers will remain the same.

District vehicles will be housed in new sheds at Mercersburg Elementary School and James Buchanan Middle School, Holtzman said in an email.

Chambersburg Area School District is opening a career magnet school on the Franklin County Career and Technology Center campus off Loop Road.

The 21 classrooms that form the new school will serve approximately 500 students.

In the Greencastle-Antrim School District, school official Robert Crider said no major building or grounds projects occurred in the district over the summer.

“But, each of our buildings is going through the summer process of cleaning and painting and making everything ready for the students’ first day back on Aug. 27,” he said.

The district is in the process of implementing a new student management system called PowerSchool.

Crider said PowerSchool will help manage all student data, grades, schedules, demographics and health information under one roof.

“It will be a very positive change for the district,” Crider said.

Parents will have access to the new system and more information will become available.

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