The public soon will have a chance to learn more about a planned construction and renovation project for Kindergarten Academy in the Mechanicsburg Area School District that also involves a relocation of the district’s administration offices.
A public hearing about the projects is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 24 at the district administration offices at Elmwood Elementary School, 100 E. Elmwood Ave. At its Tuesday meeting, the Mechanicsburg Area School Board approved an informational booklet for the hearing that is posted on the district’s website.
The project involves renovations and the addition of a classroom wing to accommodate steadily growing enrollment. A second floor would be added to serve as the new location of the district’s administration offices.
The hearing booklet lists a maximum cost of $17,048,904 for the entire project, with just over $10 million of that allotted for new construction. The remainder is expected to go toward renovations, site work, financing and other related costs.
Also on Tuesday, the school board authorized the issue of a 25-year general obligation bond, series of 2017, in the amount of $9,930,000 with an average interest rate of 3.04 percent. The funds are intended to finance a portion of the Kindergarten Academy project, with plans to finance additional money later.
“We have a five-year financing plan, so we plan to borrow (an additional) $9.95 million in 2018,” Assistant Superintendent Alan Vandrew said on Oct. 4.
During of the next five years, the district plans to expand or renovate all of its buildings to accommodate increasing enrollment and changing educational and activity needs. In August, the school board agreed for architects to prepare advertisements for contractor bids for converting Elmwood Elementary School into a district center for grades four and five. The district’s offices on Elmwood’s second floor would be converted into 15 classrooms.
Also in August, board members authorized architects Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates of Mechanicsburg to design renovations and expansions to Broad Street Elementary School, Northside Elementary School, Shepherdstown Elementary School and Upper Allen Elementary School. All would be configured as buildings for grades 1, 2 and 3.
The school board also authorized architects in August to prepare advertisements for contractor bids for converting Elmwood Elementary School into a district center for grades four and five and additional contractor bids for renovations and additions to the Kindergarten Academy. Vandrew said the board will finalize plans for the project “once bids are received, likely in February.”
Wildcat Activity Center
In other action on Tuesday, the school board authorized architects to proceed with designs of a Wildcat Activity Center at the high school.
As proposed, the activity center would contain additional sports locker rooms, equipment storage areas, and restrooms for outside events instead of portable toilets now onsite. It also would provide more room for physical education classes, wrestling, cheerleading, baseball, softball and other sports.
Finally, Superintendent Mark Leidy announced principal assignments for the 2018-19 school year on Oct. 3. Stacy Alexander, currently principal at Upper Allen Elementary School, will be transferred to Broad Street Elementary School. Andrew Bitz, currently principal at Broad Street, will lead the new Elmwood 4/5 Academy in 2018-19. Current Elmwood Elementary School principal John McIntosh will be Upper Allen’s new principal next year.
No change of status is planned next year for Kindergarten Academy principal Kathy Healey, Northside Elementary School principal Ashlyn Ecker, and Shepardstown Elementary School principal Krista Archibald.