, 2014


School officials
focus on facilities

by Audrey Thomasson

WEEMS—The Lancaster school board on Monday began strategic planning for school facilities in the interim years until decisions are made to update or replace aging schools.

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Last year, the facility design firm of RRMM Architects presented several options for upgrading current schools or building new schools based on proper grouping of grade levels, declining enrollment and future technology. However, school board chairman Dr. Robert Westbrook noted the need to review current facilities being used and those needed in the near future, such as a facility to house the alternative school in Lancaster, as a much needed bridge to the future.

New superintendent Steven Parker said some items on the schools’ capital improvement project (CIP) request to the county should be reconsidered.

“It doesn’t make sense to spend $135,000 for a new gym floor and $350,000 on an outdoor track when they are not going to be used” for too many more years, said Parker.

Also, he expressed concern about the aging primary school and a septic system that is not expected to last much longer.

The discussion included the elimination of rented trailers and expansion of facilities such as a sports building and science, technology, engineering and math classrooms.

Parker and Westbrook plan to attend today’s board of supervisors work session on the capital improvement budget at 2:30 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 8311 Mary Ball Road, Lancaster.


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