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Groundbreaking for $21 million Kerr Elementary scheduled

Tawnya Panizzi
| Thursday, June 28, 2018, 1:04 p.m.
The proposed site plan for a new Kerr Elementary School in O'Hara, which is scheduled to open in 2019.
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The proposed site plan for a new Kerr Elementary School in O'Hara, which is scheduled to open in 2019.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new $21 million Kerr Elementary School is scheduled for July 10.

It will begin at 4 p.m. on the lower field at the current Kerr campus, 341 Kittanning Pike, O'Hara.

The new school is expected to open for the 2019-20 school year.

As proposed, the 72,348-square-foot building will provide critical updates and innovative features the existing school lacks.

There will be a collaborative space where students can work on projects and conduct research, said Bonnie Berzonski, district coordinator of communications.

“There also will be a makerspace, a SMALLab learning space and a computer science robotics lab,” she said.

The new Kerr will include space for a language immersion program where students will be taught in English and Spanish. It will be open to students across the district, Berzonski said.

The district's Creativity and Literacy Program will continue to be housed at the new Kerr. The old building will be torn down to make way for parking.

“Kerr Elementary School has a very long and proud history of serving our community for more than 90 years,” Principal Paul Noro said.

“While this remarkable educational structure has given our students, parents, staff and community countless precious and cherished moments, the new Kerr will bring our students innovative educational opportunities and memories for generations to come.”

The building was designed by architectural firm Canzian/Johnston Associates. Thomas & Williamson Program Management is the project manager.

Site work has already begun on the lower field/current playground. By fall, foundations and footers should be complete, and the structure is expected to take shape.

Kerr Elementary was originally built in the 1920s. The last major renovations were done in 2003, officials said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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