Study offers board options for Hampton High School makeover
Hampton Township School District officials will narrow their priorities for a high school remodeling project from a feasibility study of improvements of more than $20 million.
“The real planning comes in the next step … to create a final solution to include everything we want and need and a cost,” said Dan Engen, principal with VEBH Architects, a Mt. Lebanon-based firm that created feasibility study.
Since February, architects have met with staff, teachers, students and community members to collect input on the current high school design as well as other buildings.
The architects outlined solutions for captured vestibules at the high school, middle school, Wyland Elementary and Central Elementary, which would bring visitors into the building directly through the main office as an added security measure.
The study also proposed solutions to move and remodel the high school administration and guidance suites, remodel and expand the science classrooms, improve the technology, auditorium and music rooms, and remodel the locker room areas and gym entrance.
The last major high school construction project was during the 1999-2000 school year, which added two wings of classrooms, the large group instruction room and a gymnasium to the high school footprint.
Currently, there are 1,098 students enrolled at the high school.
The study solutions to remodel the high school range from working within the school's current footprint to creating additions to one or more areas of the high school at costs that range from $1.5 million for the project to move the administration and guidance suites to $6.7 million to build a new wing of classrooms to the school.
The total of all the solutions and options is more than $20 million.
In February, Jeff Kline, director of administrative services, provided bond scenarios for financing the proposed project at a $5 million level, $7.5 million level and $10 million level for a 20-year loan.
Jeff Finch, current high school principal who will transition to assistant superintendant July 1, said the study will be the starting point to prioritize a list of the district's needs.
“I think they did a good job to create the list,” Finch said. “Now it's time to get into details and it takes a lot more work and is not worth it if it's not a priority.”
Superintendent John Hoover recommended the school board members begin discussing goals for moving forward with the study at the board's June 19 retreat.
Additional public discussions will be conducted at the school board's monthly meetings.
“They've given us great ideas for how to spend a lot of money,” Hoover said. “Part of the problem is we're a fantastic district and how much do we spend to make us a little better?”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.