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Districtwide study details needs at Seneca Valley

Intermediate high tops list for improvements

JACKSON TWP — The results of a districtwide feasibility study covering buildings in the Seneca Valley School District, which was presented to school board members Monday, will be available to the public at a community meeting later this month.

While Jeremy Beatty of Eckles Architects and Engineering listed the needs and challenges at each school building, he said the intermediate high school is most in need of improvements and solutions to challenges.

The intermediate, which educates students in grades nine and 10, has no large-group instruction space, conference rooms or collaboration spaces, and has limited meeting spaces, Beatty said.

He said the intermediate is not student friendly, and houses the district's cyber school program, the Seneca Valley Academy of Choice, in five classrooms and the main office.

He said the number of classrooms at the intermediate is adequate, but the rooms are small and limit collaboration.

Beatty said the science labs are antiquated and two science rooms don't have labs.

He added that the science rooms are not in the same location in the intermediate.

The technical education spaces in the intermediate are antiquated and located in the school's lower level, where visibility is nonexistent.

Another problem is that about 200 students move between the intermediate and senior high school next door during the school day.

Regarding performing arts, the intermediate contains the largest auditorium in the school district, which is not large enough.

Beatty said the district cannot fit an entire grade level from the intermediate or senior high into the auditorium.

The intermediate auditorium area does not have practice rooms, and it needs a gaming and audio/visual studio, as well as an orchestra room.

Needs in other district schools are as follows:

• More classrooms and an improved nurse's suite at Connoquenessing Valley Elementary

• More openness and collaboration spaces for students and faculty at Rowan Elementary

• More classrooms, small group spaces, flexible and movable furniture, support services space and a conference room at Haine Elementary/Middle School

• Additional classrooms, support services space and conference and collaboration space at Ryan Gloyer Middle School

• Larger auditorium and cafeteria at the senior high school

Beatty also said instituting full-day kindergarten would require doubling the kindergarten classrooms in the elementary schools.

Student body growth

A demographic update also was presented, via an online connection, to the school board Monday by Georgia Leonard of Davis Demographics.

Based on multiple factors and figures, Leonard predicted an increase of almost 200 students in grades kindergarten through four in the next five years.

She said grades five and six would see an increase of 150 students, 60 additional students in grades seven and eight as well as nine and 10, and an initial decrease of about 25 students in grades 11 and 12, then an uptick of 50 students.

The feasibility and data studies, along with options to rectify issues and their potential costs, will be presented to the community on the evening of April 25 at the intermediate school auditorium.

The time of that presentation will be announced soon.