Building options reviewed
By SUSAN RUMBLE
Special to The Press
To prepare for continued enrollment growth and to address capacity issues at the secondary schools, the Parkland School Board and administration have been involved in a feasibility study with RLPS architects.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Madson commented on the endeavor at the board’s Aug. 15 meeting.
“We began in January and took a look at all different options,” Madson said. “Tonight is informational with no decision.”
After examining numerous possibilities, the team narrowed options down to two choices.
Pathway A would keep the high school grades 9-12, with a small addition of classroom space to accommodate 400 more students.
That plan would maintain two middle schools but would include an addition and renovation at Orefield Middle School.
Some students might eventually be shifted from Springhouse Middle School to Orefield.
High school improvements would provide 60,000 new square feet of space and 10,750 square feet of renovated areas for an estimated $37.7 million to $44.4 million.
The Orefield Middle School project would yield 66,000 new square feet and 172,716 renovated square feet for an estimated $123.1 million to $140 million.
Both softball fields along Limekiln Road would be lost for stormwater retention.
The on-site sewer plant installed in 1964 would have to be evaluated for additional capacity.
Pathway B specifies construction of a new 226,853-square-foot middle school designed for ninth grade center use at a cost of $137 million to $160 million.
This proposal would also include renovations at Orefield Middle School at $79 million to $90 million.
About 51 acres of land would have to be found for the new building, and costs would accrue from site development.
Madson noted the timeline for Pathway A provides an advantage over Pathway B because the high school addition and Orefield Middle School work can be done at the same time.
“Pathway A makes the most sense with time line and cost. This is where we want to go,” Madson said. “Pathway B involves a new school on land we don’t currently own. It extends the timeline.”
Madson said the board cannot be asked to do too many projects at once.
“There are other capital projects in the district,” Madson noted. “We have to make sure our high school team can accommodate student capacity.
“It’s not that we don’t have enough chairs for everyone. We need space to move around in the hallways.”
Although the elementary schools have enough room now, Madson said the Cetronia and Ironton elementary buildings can be expanded if population increases in future years.
He stated the Troxell site could be used eventually either for the land or the building.