Tube City Almanac

June 20, 2012

School Board Eyes Additions to Founders Hall

Category: News || By Jennifer Sopko

With plans for a new elementary school on indefinite hold, McKeesport Area School District is exploring ways to expand the existing Founders Hall Middle School.

Last month, the school board authorized architecture firm J.C. Pierce to submit a project description and conceptual drawings to the state Department of Education for a proposed addition and renovations to the building at the intersection of O'Neil Boulevard and Eden Park Boulevard.

Built in 1940 as McKeesport Vocational High School, the building had an original capacity of 840 students. According to state data, current enrollment is nearly 600 students in grades 7 and 8.

Through the PlanCon process, the district will seek partial reimbursement from the state for the construction project, officials said.

In lieu of the new elementary-intermediate school that the board voted to cancel at its February meeting, School Director Tom Maglicco said the district is now pursuing a two-floor addition to Founders Hall that would include two separate pods of approximately 16 classrooms total, connected to an auxiliary gym, with an science lab and life skills learning room.

  • In other business, the board awarded a $1.1 million contract for replacing the high school roof to MTG Roofing. MTG was the lowest responsible bidder, officials said.

  • School directors approved a 10-cent increase in the price of meals for the 2012/13 school year. Breakfasts for all students will cost 75 cents and lunches will cost $1.15 for elementary students and $1.25 for secondary students.

  • Superintendent Tim Gabauer announced the results of this year's National Occupational Competency Testing Institute exam (NOCTI), an annual test required for all vocational students enrolled in the district's technology center.

    The 90 students that took the test achieved a 97 percent competency rate, with 77 percent obtaining their Pennsylvania Skills Certification and 20 percent obtaining their Competency Certification.

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