Journal Register News Service
PHOENIXVILLE -- Within the near future, the Kindergarten Center in Phoenixville will be relocated to East Pikeland, according to a presentation given to the school board last week.
At the request of the school district, Damion Spahr, regional vice president of Reynolds Construction Management, provided a PowerPoint presentation that showed the school board four different options in regards to East Pikeland Elementary School. Those options are to either build a new school at a new location, build a new school on the current site at 1191 Hares Hill Road, or renovate the current school at the same location.
The presentation showed that the Kindergarten Center would be placed with the East Pikeland Elementary School, and the alternative school program be moved into the center, which would eliminate a lease.
One option, Spahr noted, would be to build a new, large elementary school at a new site.
"We could utilize the previous Kimberton Elementary School design or create a new design," Spahr said. "It would provide for a larger population and require the purchase of new land, approvals and additional cost of infrastructure. It is the most expensive option, and would be the longest project duration."
Another option would be to build a new, medium-sized elementary school at a new site.
"It is the same as the first option, except it would provide for a medium-sized population," Spahr said.
The first two options would take approximately 36 months to complete, depending on if/when the district purchased land.
Building a new elementary school at the current site is the third option Spahr brought up.
"It would require a new design and provide for medium population," he said. "Municipal and state permitting is simplified and it would provide for increased staff efficiency."
The fourth option would be to renovate the current elementary school, which would require modular classrooms for one year, and be the lowest cost option.
Spahr said that the analysis of these options is a pre-design phase study.
"Each option allows for the Kindergarten Center to reside at the East Pikeland location," he said. "Each option allows the Alternative Education to move into the existing Kindergarten Center building."
Based upon the questions the board asked on Thursday evening, Spahr said it seems the board is focused on the options that kept costs down while using the current school location, without having to purchase new land.
He said that the district requested proposals from three construction managers regarding East Pikeland Elementary School and the Kindergarten Center.
"We interviewed with them a week before our presentation," he said. "They asked us to come up with some ideas and present them to the board. They asked whether it would be good to build new or to renovate. We are going to talk some more at this week's board meeting."
Reynolds Construction Management is currently working with the school district on the proposed construction of the new Phoenixville Area Middle School.
"Basically, when you are doing a good job for a school district, you know what you know about them," Spahr said. "We are already immersed with the district."
The Kindergarten Center was established by the Phoenixville Area School District in the 1989-1900 school year and is one of approximately 20 centers in Pennsylvania that provide a common location to begin the learning experience for young children. There are three full-day classes along with 12 half-day classes and one Autistic Support class.