At a special meeting on Tuesday night, the Mechanicsburg Area School Board unanimously awarded contracts for interior building renovations at Elmwood Elementary School, along with agreeing to change student start and dismissal times for all district buildings in 2018-19.
The changes figure into an elementary grade reconfiguration that the district is initiating at the start of the 2018-19 school year. The Elmwood building, now home to grades 1-5, will transition into a district center for grades 4-5. The Kindergarten Academy will continue as just that, but the building will be expanded to accommodate growing enrollment and the district’s offices will be relocated to a second-floor addition there.
Meanwhile, the district’s remaining elementary buildings will switch from their current configurations of grades 1-5 to grades 1-3 for next year. This includes Broad Street Elementary, Northside Elementary, Shepherdstown Elementary and Upper Allen Elementary schools.
In August 2017, the school board gave architects a go-ahead to prepare advertisements for contractor bids for converting Elmwood Elementary School into a district center for grades four and five by the start of the 2018-19 school year. Plans call for converting the district’s offices on Elmwood’s second floor into 15 classrooms. It’s part of the district’s large-scale plan to expand or renovate all of its buildings over the next five years to accommodate increasing enrollment and changing educational and activity needs.
For the Elmwood project, the school board accepted bids on Tuesday totaling $1,019,780 as follows:
General construction — eci Construction LLC, $621,600.
Electrical construction — Midstate Mechanical & Electrical, $208,120.
HVAC construction — Midstate Mechanical & Electrical, $144,910.
Plumbing construction — Mann PH, LLC—$45,150.
Work is expected to begin as soon as possible at Elmwood, district officials said previously. For now, the district’s offices have been temporarily relocated to a 15,000-square-foot area that the district is renting from Allen Distribution on South Market Street until a second floor is ready at the Kindergarten Academy. School board meetings are being conducted at the district’s environmental center at 1731 S. York St.
The school board also unanimously voted on Tuesday night to change student start and dismissal times in all district buildings beginning with the 2018-19 school year. These changes also relate to next year’s elementary grade reconfiguration.
New start and dismissal times were approved as follows:
Elementary grades — 7:40 a.m.-2:35 p.m.
Kindergarten — 7:50 a.m.-2:20 p.m.
High school — 8:20 a.m.-3:20 p.m.
Middle school — 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Superintendent Mark Leidy said on Tuesday that the Kindergarten Academy’s start and dismissal times might change from what was approved on Tuesday “as we adjust bus routes, but just would be by a few minutes either way.”
Starting next year, kindergarten students will no longer need to an additional shuttle from their neighborhood elementary school to the Kindergarten Academy each morning as they must now. Instead, they will share a bus with fourth- and fifth-graders en route to the Elmwood 4/5 Academy.
Also, secondary students would have a much smaller gap between the time they arrive at school and start of classes. Currently, the first middle school bus pickup is 7:30 p.m., with arrival at 8:10 a.m., a building start time of 8:20 and dismissal at 3:20 p.m. The first high school bus pickup is 6:35 a.m., arrival at 7:10 a.m., a building start time of 7:55 a.m. and dismissal at 2:57 p.m.
Presently for elementary students, the first bus pickup is 6:50 a.m., with arrival at 7:30 a.m. and building start times of 7:45 a.m. and dismissal at 2:25 p.m. Kindergarten runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.