Parkland Press

Sunday, October 21, 2018

School board OKs center city LCCC relocation

Thursday, January 4, 2018 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

Parkland School Board has granted approval to Lehigh Carbon Community College to proceed with plans for relocation of its center city Allentown site.

LCCC board member Roberta Marcus reported classes are presently held in the former Portland Cement Co. building, known as the Donley Center, at 718 Hamilton Street.

She said college officials have tried to retrofit the building through the years but the large cement pillars in most rooms are a drawback.

After looking at numerous structures over the past three years, the college has selected The Morning Call building at 101 N. 6th St., Allentown, for its new city campus.

The move will result in more square feet, additional classrooms and space to expand the curriculum and increase use of technology, Marcus explained.

At present, 2,000 students attend classes at the Donley Center. Marcus noted most of them walk or take public transportation.

The new location will have better parking arrangements.

“We’ll probably increase enrollment there to offset operational costs,” Marcus said. “We believe this is revenue neutral to all school districts.”

Dr. Anne Bieber, LCCC president, said classes will continue at the Donley Center through the summer, with the move projected for the fall semester.

In other business, architect Mike Kelly observed it’s already been a year since his firm has been developing plans for the new elementary school in Upper Macungie Township.

It will go out for bids on Feb. 9 for a period of four to six weeks.

Board approval of bids is planned for April 17.

Design professional Jamie Bortz provided pictures of the outside area between the U-shaped classroom wings.

An alphabet walk connects the two sections of the building.

The green area in between will be artificial turf, a soft material with drainage underneath.

If it rains in the morning, the system allows the turf to drain and children will be able to play outside in the afternoon.

Bortz said the outside area is designed to be welcoming and useful. A 6-foot-high fence secures the area.