Armstrong School District gets digital look at new high school

| Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 4:28 p.m.

The Armstrong School District board of directors finally got a detailed — albeit digital — look at its future high school.

The architects at L.R. Kimball presented several renderings of portions of the proposed 7-12 school along with videos showcasing the campus slated to be built off Buffington Drive in Manor Township during Thursday night's open caucus session.

Project manager Brian Hayes said the architects previously shared the images during a meeting a few weeks back with members of the Armstrong Rotary.

“(The images and videos) got a good, positive reaction from them,” said Hayes.

“So we wanted to now share them with you.”

Sprawling campus

Hayes gave a virtual tour of the site — a sprawling campus perched above Kittanning—with images of the main entry facade, library courtyard, auditorium entry and several stair towers.

He also showed what visitors to the school would see as they move along the proposed drive and circle around the building.

Although the plans depict developed sports fields, Hayes noted they are not included in the current project cost and will have to be planned for in the future.

Board president Joe Close said he would like to see versions of the videos made available to the public, especially since the district has to decide how to fund the sports fields.

“I'm not petitioning for donations or anything at this time,” said Close.

“But (we could use) some thoughts out of the public.”

The board will vote at Monday's regular meeting to approve PlanCon parts D and E, which completes the Act 34 process that began with the public hearing that took place at Kittanning Senior High School on Sept. 5.

The public had 30 days to provide written comments on the information covered at the hearing, and Hayes said the one letter ASD received will be included in the proposal.

PlanCon D is essentially the project accounting based on estimates and including the maximum project cost among other forms. PlanCon E is the design development or actual design documents of the project along with results of site studies already completed.

If the board approves PlanCon D and E, Hayes said the next step will be to approve an updated cost estimate from Reynolds Construction Management at a meeting in November.

In other news:

• Curriculum coordinators Cheryl Soloski and Shauna Zukowski provided an overview of ASD's new elementary after-school tutoring program which runs from Oct. 9 through April and a tutoring program at the secondary level in preparation for Keystone Exams and PSSAs.

• Superintendent Chapp said the ARIN Intermediate Unit released the latest report on truancy which revealed that Armstrong County achieved a substantial drop in during the past year. “Out of 67 counties, Armstrong's (truancy) rate is now among the 11 lowest in the state,” said Chapp. “It's a good achievement and I want to thank everybody involved in working on it.”

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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