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Renovated Kratzer Elementary dedicated, community tours school

Community members and local political VIPs joined Parkland School District students and staff Oct. 4 for the dedication of the newly renovated Kratzer Elementary School.

Kratzer, built in 1964, serves approximately 400 students in kindergarten through fifth grades.

District Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rodney Troutman was the main speaker for the dedication ceremony.

“After the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, the school board put safety as a high priority and conducted a safety audit,” Troutman said.

“What we learned in the safety study you will see today.”

The renovation project, begun in 2011, includes new classrooms, media room, heating and ventilation system, fire suppression system, a doubled locked vestibule, requiring vistors to be buzzed in twice before entering the new relocated office and cameras.

After Troutman introduced a few staff members, District Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak, School Board President Roberta M. Marcus, Kratzer Principal Karen M. Aulisio, PTO President Jennifer Jones and South Whitehall Township Commissioner Tori Morgan addressed the gathering before the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Sniscak said the renovation project followed a feasibility study by USA Architects Planners and Interior Designers, which was completed in October 2012.

After commenting briefly on the project and history of Kratzer Elementary School, Sniscak recognized several key members involved in the project.

“We know we had an ambitious time line but we were certain with the excellent team assembled for this project that we would finish on time and with excellent results,” Sniscak stated.

“Today’s rededication is a testament to that collective vision and steadfast determination.

“I must recognize the efforts of the entire Kratzer staff, students and parents in keeping safety a priority during construction and an extra special thanks to Alvin H. Butz, Inc. and all the contractors on this project for making safety a priority each and every day.

“I would like to publicly thank and commend our school board for taking a pro-active stand when it comes to maintaining our facilities in Parkland.”

Marcus discussed the history of Krazter, and thanked the Parkland community, on behalf of the school board, for its support and trust to provide an outstanding, safe an innovative learning environment.

“We really appreciate everyone’s commitment to our children, your children, all children and their future,” she stated.

Aulisio began her remarks by thanking the school board for approving the renovation.

“I cannot say thank you enough to my staff for their positive attitude and I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the architect team and trade teams,” Aulisio said.

Morgan, commented on the importance of Kratzer Elementary.

“It is not just a place to go, it is a place to be,” she said.

Jones thanked the school district for continuing to invest in the children in the Parkland School District.

“The kids are excited about their new building, they love the new improvements, the classrooms, technology, café and school grounds,” Jones stated.

Others who spoke briefly included Congressman Charlie Dent, R-15th, state Reps. Michael Schlossberg, D-132nd, Julie Harhart, R-183rd, Ryan Mackenzie, R-134th, and Matt Szuchyt from Sen. Pat Browne’s office, R-16th.

After the ribbon cutting, visitors toured the school to see the renovations and enjoy refreshments in the new café.

During the tour, Jim Petro, project architect, and Paul Swartz, senior partner, both with USA Architects, spoke with The Press on the project and renovations.

“We all worked together - the school district, construction managers and architects,” Petro said.

“The renovations exceeded my expectations,” Swartz added.

PRESS PHOTO BY SUSAN BRYANTParkland School District Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak and school board President Roberta M. Marcus are presented a certificate Oct. 4 from Congressman Charlie Dent, R-15th, (center) at the dedication of the newly renovated Kratzer Elementary School, South Whitehall.