The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 28, 2014

Middle school should not change location

The Daily Item

— I strongly disagree with the proposal for the location of the new middle school site as presented by the architects.

The Shikellamy School Board appears to be the proverbial “ostrich with its head in the sand” concerning the new middle school proposed for the former C.W. Rice site. Do they understand or even care about the plans being submitted? I strongly doubt it, since none of the board members, including the president, attended a zoning meeting about raising the projected elevation height of the proposed new building.

The meeting for the uninformed school board was permission for the architects to erect a building that will tower 28 feet above Prince Street. This increase in height would be to accommodate a pitched roof instead of a flat one. The architects gave three reasons for this change: it is easier to maintain a pitched roof than a flat one, it would block some of the sound emitted from the HVAC units, and it would have a more aesthetic appearance.

Placing the new building on the current CWR site would solve more than just the height problem. Putting it on the football field, a level or more above CWR, is ludicrous.

With the demolition of CWR and removal of the materials, you already have the majority of the foundation and basement excavated. Tons of materials will have to be excavated to create the new building on the football field, moved, and additional tons needed to ‘redevelop two new athletic fields.’ When asked what the projected costs would be to excavate and move this material, the architects avoided giving an answer multiple times.

It’s time for the school board to pull their heads out of the sand, look at the entire proposal, and ask for options that will better fit the neighborhood and the taxpayers’ pockets. Let the zoning commission grant the exception. But, with the stipulation, the building is located where the current CWR is, then work around those revisions.

Philip Hallden,