The Mechanicsburg Area School Board unanimously accepted the final results of a district feasibility study on Tuesday that includes three options for building renovations throughout the district. Officials said they hope to decide on a final option by fall 2016.
Last month, architects presented school board members with the study results for consideration. None of the options involve the construction of a new school. Instead, the options involve building additions and renovations that focus more on 21st Century education adaptations rather than student capacity issues, architects said.
In June 2015, the school board authorized Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates to perform a district-wide feasibility study in relation to the district’s growing student numbers. The data portion of the study was completed late last year.
In February, Superintendent Mark Leidy told the school board he was forming a feasibility study committee that would evaluate the study’s data results and return with a recommendation for the board. Architects presented the following options that the feasibility committee will continue to review before presenting a final option to the school board:
Option 1: Keep Kindergarten Academy; Elmwood Elementary, grades 1-5, district administrative offices, remove modular classrooms; Shepherdstown Elementary, grades 1-2; Upper Allen Elementary, grades 3-5. All buildings get new spaces.
Option 2: Keep Kindergarten Academy. Upper Allen Elementary, grades 1-3; Elmwood Elementary, grades 4-5, district offices. New spaces for all buildings, but Elmwood gets the most.
Option 3: Keep Kindergarten Academy; Elmwood Elementary, grades 1-3, district offices; Upper Allen, grades 4-5. All buildings get new spaces, most significantly at Upper Allen.
Now that the school board has accepted the study results, the document now will be posted on the district’s website at www.mbgsd.org, Leidy said.
Also Tuesday, the school board accepted a bid from Weatherproofing Technologies, Inc. of Ohio to repair sections of the high school’s 48-year-old masonry for $278,219. The board also accepted a bid from Pittsburgh Stage, Inc., of Sewickley, Allegheny County, to repair the stages at Elmwood Elementary School, the middle school and high school for $32,277, as well as a bid from H.L. Bowman, Inc. of Harrisburg for $7,129 to replace the hot water heater expansion joints at the middle school.
Also on Tuesday, Leidy unveiled a painting of the Simpson Street School, which was donated to the district by the family of Charles E. Shields, who began his career with the Mechanicsburg School District as a science teacher in 1949 and served a total of 37 years with the district, with the last 22 years as superintendent.
The painting’s artist was 1948 Mechanicsburg High School graduate Virginia Keel, who gave the piece to Shields as a gift. Shields’ and Keel’s families were present for the artwork’s unveiling on Tuesday. The painting will hang in the district board room at Elmwood Elementary School.
Finally, Assistant Superintendent/CFO Alan Vandrew was awarded with the Gary E. Reeser Memorial Award from the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. He is only the 51st individual to receive the award.