Parkland Press

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Old part of school to be razed

Sunday, December 29, 2019 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in Local News

Standing on a high point overlooking the community, the classic 1926 portion of Schnecksville Elementary School has been the focal point where generations of children received their education.

Now, Parkland School District officials have determined the building is inadequate for the needs of students and teachers today and would cost too much to renovate and bring up to code.

Instead of restoring the 93-year-old structure, the district plans to demolish it and construct a new addition on the southwest section of the property.

At the Dec. 17, 2019, workshop session, board members reviewed a $23.2 million project which includes demolition of the original building, new construction which provides five additional classrooms, and renovation of the remaining portions of the school, which were built at various times.

An east wing was constructed in 1962, and a large section on the south side with classrooms, library, and a gym, was added later.

Superintendent Richard Sniscak listed deficiencies of the 1926 building which contribute to its demise.

These issues involve areas of failing masonry, HVAC systems needing replacement, worn-out roof, electrical system upgrades, and it lacks areas for science, technology, engineering and math education.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rod Troutman noted the 1926 building is problematic relating to requirements of the Americans with Disability Act.

Steps are used to connect the older building with the newer sections.

“We have four different levels now,” Troutman said. “We can go to two levels with the new plan.”

Sniscak stated the cost to renovate the original building was estimated at $20 million.

“That still would not give us additional classroom space,” Sniscak said. “The new one will enable us to have four sections of every grade and will last 50-plus years.”

Troutman said the school has 32 classrooms now and will increase to 37 with the new addition.

He reported enrollment at Schnecksville Elementary is 420 students at the present time.

Sniscak stated with the new addition, the school should accommodate around 600 children.

The 1926 building will remain in place until the renovations and new construction are completed.

Demolition is scheduled for the summer of 2023.