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Feasibility study reveals district buildings issues

SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Buildings throughout the Williamsport Area School District are in need of some degree of upgrading, according to a feasibility study revealed to the school board this week.

The study, as presented by Scott Cousin, of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, a Mechanisburg architectural firm, also considers the fate of Stevens Primary School.

The board is faced with the question of closing or renovating the Stevens building located at 1150 Louisa St., or perhaps razing it and constructing a new school.

Cousin told the board that renovating Stevens could include relocating administration offices and classrooms; replacing windows, doors and roofing; and restoring the exterior facade.

Closing Stevens would mean moving its students to Cochran and Jackson Primary schools.

A closing would involve a four to five month process to include a public hearing and notification to the Department of Education.

He said there is no one favored option to consider.

However, construction of a new school at an estimated cost of between $26.1 and 28.1 million would be the most expensive choice.

District-wide, school buildings are faced with various structural or other deficiencies, he noted.

HVAC systems are in need of replacement or repairs in all buildings. Plumbing and fire alarms systems at various schools require attention as well.

Cousin noted that some of the primary schools lack appropriate space for science and STEM education.

Student enrollment figures in the district, he noted, have declined in recent years, but are showing signs of stabilizing.

Stevens has a student population of 261 students.

In other matters, the board ratified its vote earlier this month to appoint Scott Williams to a vacant board seat.

Williams fills the seat held by Star Poole, who was replaced for missing two consecutive board meetings.

Some board members objected to the ratification, noting that other people should have been considered for the vacancy.

Williams received the sixth most votes for the seat in the November election.

The board accepted the following resignations:

• Karen A. Buchheit, health room technician, Jackson Primary School.

• Sarah R. Driscoll, fourth grade teacher, Curtin Intermediate School.

• Jillette L. Smith, art teacher, Curtin Intermediate School.

• Ashley N. Arriaga, part-time aide, Curtain Intermediate School.

• Gregory A. Brown, part-time aide, high school.

• Shyanne L. Camacho, part-time food service worker, Cochran Primary School.

The following personnel were approved by the board to positions:

• Jeremy B. Church, long-term substitute teacher.

• Jordyn L. Gehr, long-term substitute teacher.

• Caylin M. Hartley, long-term substitute teacher.

• Kerron R. Dicks, part-time special aide.

• Jessica M. Hollingsworth, part-time special aide.

• Caleb A. Wertz, part-time aide.

• Shyanne L. Camacho, substitute food service worker.

• Edward E. Wood, non-certified substitute teacher.

• Karen A. Buchheit, substitute health room technician.

The board approved a memorial resolution for Christy L. Phillips.

Phillips, who taught in the district for more than six years, recently passed away.

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