Parkland Press

Saturday, September 22, 2018

$35 million needed for new school

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

Parkland School District Superintendent Richard Sniscak reports the cost of the new elementary school in Upper Macungie Township is projected to be $34,995,953.

The amount includes construction costs, on-and off-site costs, and soft costs.

The total could change when bids are received in early 2018.

The building will be constructed on an 18-acre parcel of land donated by David and Jackie Jaindl along Twin Ponds Road between Long Lane and Schantz Road.

Due to a surge in housing developments in the southwestern corner of the district, the school will be needed to accommodate children in the area.

At a recent meeting, Sniscak stated the school will open with four sections of every grade in kindergarten through fifth grade.

However, space will be available for five sections at each grade level in the future, if needed, he explained.

Mike Kelly, of the KCBA architectural firm, explained adjustments in design of the building have been made to trim costs.

The gym has been reduced from its original dimensions but will still be equivalent to a middle school size facility with a 50-foot by 64-foot court.

An end portion of one classroom wing was eliminated to lower costs.

Business Manager John Vignone commented on the prospect of reimbursement from the state for the new building.

“Parkland has a high wealth factor,” Vignone said. “Our aid ratio drives out reimbursement. We get about 5 cents on the dollar.”

Kelly described what to expect at the Act 34 public hearing.

“This is a state requirement to go out and talk to constituents about the project to explain why the building is needed and what the financial impact will be,” Kelly said. “Solicitor Steven Miller will preside, a stenographer will be present, and there will be time for public comment.”

Meanwhile, he said, the firm is having long discussions with district representatives on everything from furniture to sewer line connections.

Looking further ahead, Sniscak stated around 2025-30, the district may have to consider providing additional space at the high school.

That building was planned for future expansion. Sniscak said an option would be to connect the existing wings.

The Act 34 hearing will take place in the administration building, 1210 Springhouse Road, 7 p.m. Nov. 13.