While most discussions have centered around the middle school renovation project, the Williamsport Area School Board was given a presentation of the schematic design of the proposed renovations to the high school at Tuesday's meeting.
Vern McKissick, of McKissik Associates, said the $22-million project is a mixture of necessary upgrades and educational ones. With upgrades outnumbering the budget, McKissick said he had to prioritize the project.
"There's been a lot of decisions we've had to make," he said.
The district will be given back about $12.8 million of the project, with about 68 percent of the first $18 million being reimbursed by the state.
McKissick said the plan presented to the board is the result of months of work with high school personnel to find the major needs.
"We've been doing a lot with the administration team of the high school," McKissik said.
The first aspect of the school that will get a remake is the front entrance. Benjamin Crum, architectural designer, showed how a canopy over the main entrance will make it more noticeable as the gym entrance is usually mistaken as the main doors.
The next big upgrade will be to the gymnasium as air conditioning will be installed.
David Stone Jr., board member, said the air flow will not only be helpful for gym classes but when the school is hosting a large event.
The project also shows a plan to have different locker rooms for physical education classes and sports teams. McKissik explained that this is so sports teams can have better security of their possessions.
Some of the educational sections that will be upgraded are the science labs and music rooms. Science labs will get updated safety equipment, such as eye washes, and the band room will be enlarged as smaller classrooms will be eliminated.
The plans call for the elimination of one of the three cafeterias and a small addition to bring the two remaining ones together.
The addition connects the two dining areas together and would have different stations for students to "flow" between instead of standing in one continuous line.
One dining area would be a restaurant-style room with booths and televisions streaming school and national information. McKissick said the area would be for students to hang out in during lunch.
The other area would be more of a quiet, study area for students who wish to do school work during lunch period.
"Variety and choice - that's what we're going for with the students in the cafeteria," McKissick said.
Mechanical upgrades include new, natural-gas boilers and HVAC systems.
Jeffrey Richards, business manager, said if Gov. Tom Corbett puts a moratorium on school construction, it would "drastically" change the project.
Although the project will affect the district's budget in coming years, Richards said once the new middle school opens they will be able to offset the costs by closing two elementary schools.
In other matters, with recent discussions surrounding the district's plans to cut staff, Thomas Zimmerman, board member, asked those criticizing the district to help it. He said the board welcomes all to join the conversation so they can work together.
"I really would invite people to be on the team," Zimmerman said.