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Knoch High School renovation work begins

Students, parents should expect changes in daily routine

After delays, cost overruns and budget concerns, the first bit of earth finally is set to be turned on Knoch High School’s planned $39 million renovation.

Knoch School District sent an email to parents Thursday afternoon letting them know work on the renovation would begin Saturday.

According to communications manager Jennifer Webb, construction equipment should set up around the building site over the weekend, weather permitting.

In the letter, district superintendent David Foley warned construction work may get in the way of high school and middle school students as they go about their school day. Knoch Middle School is located beside the high school in the same building.

“Although the project was designed to have as little impact on instruction as possible, some adjustments are necessary with respect to student arrival and dismissal, as well as visitors to both KMS and KHS,” Foley wrote.

These changes to routine at Knoch will take effect on Monday, Dec. 4.

Starting Monday, access to the high school office through the entrance facing Knoch Road will be blocked. All high school students who arrive by car will enter through the gym doors, including students who enter late or leave early. In addition, all students who are released early will sign out at the gym doors.

Late-arriving middle school students must be dropped off at the middle school office and cannot enter through the gym doors.

The arrangement of buses after school will change for both the middle and high school, and posters will be placed to aid students in finding their bus.

In addition, most visitors to after-school events at the high school will have to park in the student parking lot or at Knoch Intermediate Elementary School, located across the street. The parking spots located near the high school library will be reserved for sports referees and the handicapped.

Mark Hudson Construction, based in Hermitage, Pa., was officially awarded the bid for general construction at a school board meeting on Nov. 8. Other bids for items such as food service, plumbing, HVAC and electrical work were accepted back in August.

The school district expects that work on the renovation will be finished by fall 2025. Among the enhancements which will be added in the renovation are a new STEM lab, a wellness center, several chemistry labs, a theater classroom and a renovated cafeteria and kitchen space, among others.

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