State College School Board Sees Initial High School Renovation Plans
The State College School Board got its first look at plans to renovate the high school with the architect revealing some preliminary diagrams at Monday night's board meeting.
There are two plans -- both would reuse some of the existing south building. The plans also include new space to house small learning communities as part of the new educational specifications.
One option would include a structure that would take up a large portion of the parking lot next to the south building, according to John Beddia, a representative with Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates Architects.
"It takes a pretty significant area of the parking lot," Beddia says. "It would shift more burden of parking requirements on the north campus."
That option also includes some courtyards within the campus, allowing students to go outside as they walk to classes. Beddia says that when he showed the plan to some State College High School students, the courtyards were one of the first thing they noticed.
The board voted last month to use Concept D as the high school plan, ending months of deliberation. This plan includes major renovations to the south building so that core classes can all be held on the same side of the street. Portions of the north building will still be available for student and community use.
The architects will refine the plans once they're given some direction from the board. Once that happens, they'll go into greater detail and that will help estimate the final cost.
The board will hash out details at a work session next Monday. There will also be a community forum on the plans Oct. 23 at the State College High School.
Director of the Office of Physical Plant for State College Area School District Ed Poprik says he will be updating the high school project calendar as they go through the next couple months. This is to account for any changes or setbacks in the various steps that need to be taken before a voter referendum on May 20.
As it stands now, the calendar is focused on the Dec. 2 date when the board will approve of the final designs of the building, including floor plans that reveal the facilities "new look".
Poprik says the only date that's fixed is in the referendum. Deadlines for the various proposals can be moved around.
"May 20 isn't moving," Poprik says. "We may get to a point where we consider is it worth to have two more weeks for discussion and take two weeks away from communication."
After the final plans are approved, the school district will spend a couple of months showing the renovation plans to the public, so everyone can see what the new school will look like.
The board also moved to approve Alexander Building Construction to help the school district estimate the maximum cost for the high school project. The cost of hiring the firm is $17,500.
The school district has already hired Crabtree Rohrbaugh to develop the design plans for the high school project. Crabtree Rohrbaugh made its own estimate for the design and Alexander Building's estimate will be reconciled with the Crabtree Rohrbaugh estimate.
The two different firms will help make sure the estimate is realistic.
"Once the referendum is approved we're locked into a dollar figure," Poprik says. "The importance of estimating [is] very apparent."
A $115 million spending cap for the renovation project was also voted on last month.