• The Decision Process
    - 2000-2007
    How, When, and Why

    • The vision of the State College Area School District is to ensure that students acquire the academic, technical, and life skills necessary to enhance and fully develop their unique capabilities and to provide school facilities that adequately support multidimensional educational programs and services.

    Continuous Strategic Planning has included
    • Community input: Parents, students, school staff, community leaders, citizens
    • Community expertise: Citizens Advisory Committees (CAC)
    • Reliable data

    Decision Process 2000
    • April 24 - Board authorizes the Citizens Advisory Committee for Facilities (CAC) to develop a District Wide Master Plan to include the existing Elementary School Master Plan (1999).
    • Planning and bidding for the new Gray’s Woods School and renovation of Easterly Parkway School initiated.

    Decision Process 2001
    • Summer - Construction begins at Gray’s Woods and Easterly Parkway Schools.
    • December - The CAC-Facilities presents the District Wide Master Plan as a working document which includes renovation of the high school campus.

    Decision Process 2002
    • August - Grays Woods and Easterly Parkway Schools are completed on time and under budget.
    • Planning for the Park Forest Elementary School renovation continues.

    Decision Process 2003
    • The board commissions a nationally known expert to conduct a demographic study of enrollment trends in the SCASD.
    • The board authorizes a search for an architect for the high school project.

    Decision Process 2004
    • March - The board retains L Robert Kimball as architects and Poole Anderson as construction managers.
    • Summer - Construction of Park Forest Elementary School commences.
    • The board receives the demographic study on enrollment. (The study confirms both PDE and district projections showing relatively stable enrollment for the next 10 years.)
    • April thru December - Development of education specifications, programmatic needs, and project goals using students, teachers, staff, parents and community.
    • CAC-Facilities, architects, construction managers, administration, faculty, and board begin to develop options including the one school option using the North Bldg.
    • December - In response to citizens request, the board asks the architects and construction managers to study the cost and feasibility of a new high school at a new location.

    Decision Process 2005
    • February - Architects refine scenarios for the option of one school using North Bldg. site by utilizing part of community field.
    • March - The CAC-Facilities presents four options for the board’s consideration.
    • April - The four basic options with their costs are presented to the public at board meetings, work sessions, and a public hearing. (four public meetings)
    • April 12 - In a full page article, the CDT outlines the four options, each with several scenarios and preliminary costs.

    OPTION 1 $59 to $68 Million
    • Renovate North & South Buildings making Westerly Parkway safer to cross
    OPTION II $70 to $84 million
    • Connect the North and South Buildings with a classroom addition to bridge Westerly Parkway
    OPTION III $120 to $130 million (Adjusted to new square footage with the appraised value of existing site subtracted)
    • Build a New High School at a new site
    OPTION IV $80 to $102 Million
    • One High School by renovating and adding to the existing North Building

    Decision Process 2005 & 2006
    • May 2005 - the board selects option IV – a new and renovated high school priced at $80m to $102m.
    • Fall 2005 - Park Forest Elementary School completed on time and at cost

    Decision Process 2005 -2006
    • May to November 2005 - Using 537,000 square feet, the architects and administration refine programmatic needs and building design and narrow the cost of the project to a range of $98m to $105m.
    • November 14, 2005 - The board votes to set a target of $102 million for the total project cost.
    • Fall 2005 through Spring 2006 - Ongoing study of programmatic needs, traffic issues, environmental and neighborhood concerns, zoning issues, and geotechnical site assessments produces a more well-defined project.
    • March 1, 2006 the board answers questions from the community at the League of Women Voters Public Forum.
    • This refined plan is presented at the Community Open House on May 11.
    • The Board heard community comments at the Act 34 Hearing, July 8, 2006.
    • August 2006 CMT Laboratories presented their GeoTechnical Report to the board including this statement, "A third subsurface investigation, titled “Geotechnical Report,” was completed by CMT Laboratories. This latest activity was authorized in mid-April 2006 and the report was completed on July 28, 2006. The following excerpt is from the Recommendations on page 15 of the report: “The site is considered to be suitable for the proposed construction…”
    • The board reviewed Act 34 comments at its 9/13/06 meeting.

    Decision Process 2007
    • January 17, 2007 a Community Dialogue was held at the high school with presentations on all aspects of the High School Building project.
    • At their regular meeting on February 12, 2007, the Board of School Directors received a review of the Two Building Proposal submitted by David Paterno and a group of citizens. This review is posted in its entirety: two building review The Student Government, with the aid of Diagnostics Plus, conducted a survey of students' opinions.
    • At their regular meeting on February 26, 2007 the Board of School Directors approved Plancon Part F (Construction Documents) and granted permission to bid the High School Additions and Alterations Project. Attached below is the 90% estimate for the project. While this estimate is slightly over budget, the bidding climate is currently very favorable. An ad requesting bids will run March 1 in the CDT, with a bid opening date of April 17 and work expected to begin this summer.
    • May 8, 2007 Bid Results were reviewed.
    • May 21, 2007 Board Meeting In their first regular board meeting since the public bid opening for the high school project produced bids roughly $17 million over the projected budget, the board evaluated and discussed the possibilities for next steps. Those scenarios ranged from accepting all bids and proceeding with the project to rejecting the bids and abandoning the project. Given the large cost overage, and reports from the professionals indicating that significantly reducing the budget was unlikely without considerable re-design, the board moved and voted 8-0 to reject the bids and abandon the project.

Last Modified on November 3, 2010