Parkland Press

Saturday, June 6, 2020

New elementary school is just awaiting students

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 by SUSAN RUMBLE Special to The Press in School

Construction of Veterans Memorial Elementary School in Upper Macungie Township has been completed, and the facility is nearly ready for the expected opening of school in the fall.

Parkland School District Superintendent Richard Sniscak told The Press walls in the school have been painted, tile floors are installed and furniture is in.

“The interior is basically in good shape,” Sniscak said.

He said items such as light fixture adjustments, objects to be hung in the rooms, and balancing the heating system remain to be done.

Exterior site work including landscaping and grass still need to be done.

Sniscak said the district is expecting to receive the Highway Occupancy Permit from PennDOT for road improvements, turning lanes and a traffic light at the Twin Ponds and Schantz roads intersection.

When the permit is obtained, bids for the project can be awarded.

Sniscak said completion of the road improvements is not contingent on school opening.

Veterans Memorial is located on an 18-acre parcel of land donated by David and Jackie Jaindl on the west side of Twin Ponds Road between Long Lane and Schantz Road.

The name of the school was chosen by the Jaindl family to honor military veterans.

The need for an additional elementary school was determined five years ago through a study undertaken by Stantec, an education consulting firm.

The consultant projected an additional 500 elementary students would enter Parkland within the next five years.

The board realized a new elementary school would be needed to reduce overcrowding in the southern part of the district.

Groundbreaking for Veterans Memorial took place in May 2018.

According to the superintendent, Veterans Memorial is able accommodate up to 750 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Sniscak said the district plans four classrooms of every grade and can increase that to five if necessary.

The building features two classroom wings connected by a common area which includes the cafeteria and gym.

A fenced-in outdoor learning center is situated between the two wings.

Sniscak reports the project is “on budget,” which was forecast to be $35.9 million.