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Hampton/Shaler

First ideas of Hampton High School renovation presented

| Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, 1:36 a.m.

A presentation and update on Hampton High School’s academic redesign and building renovation feasibility study was provided at the school board’s Nov. 12 meeting at the middle school library.

High school Principal Dr. Marguerite Imbarlina provided a final report of findings on the academic redesign, a follow up to an initial presentation on the subject in February.

The academic redesign is intended to provide an intense look on possible ways the current curriculum, school day and building could be modified to provide for a deeper learning experience for its students.

The goals of the academic redesign was a driving force behind the feasibility study of high school renovation design, presented at the meeting by Cassie Renninger, a registered architect and principal at VEBH.

The detailed first conceptual design included how each section of the high school could be reconfigured to complement the academic redesign.

Renninger said the redesign was focused on functional improvements on the current building layout without having to do a wholesale rebuilding or making it much bigger.

They even offered conceptual redesigns for the field house at Fridley Field.

Imbarlina and Superintendent Dr. Michael Loughead reminded the audience that the high school renovation feasibility study would most likely be the first of a series of concepts, as the district receives feedback from the school board and adjusts items to make the best design possible.

Imbarlina provided a list of current limitations and constraints at the high school, including limited collaborative spaces, cramped and outdated science rooms, inadequate facilities for counseling and health services, an outdated stage and auditorium design, inadequate restroom, locker room, and physical education space for health and fitness instruction, and limited natural light.

Imbarlina said teachers have noted the current schedule of nine 40-minute classes does not provide enough time for teaching and they may look into ways they could redesign that.

Safety and security needs also need to be addressed, Imbarlina said. This included classroom and exterior doors hardware as outdated, certain corridors are overly congested, poor exterior lighting, and congested driveway and parking.

Administration and those selected to work on the redesign arrived at these needs by looking at other schools, speaking with faculty and staff, and having multiple school walk-throughs, Imbarlina said.

Loughead provided a previously presented list of facility improvements outside of just the high school renovation that would need attention in the near future. Some of this includes roof replacement, auditorium sound system upgrades, asphalt and paving, sidewalk replacement, pool boiler replacement, pool air handling unit replacement, kitchen walk-in cooler and freezer replacements.

There are several goals of the academic redesign focus, including improving wellness and general well-being, cross-pollinating courses, and real-world learning opportunities.

But this is a work in progress, Imbarlina said.

“We know this is not perfect. We know this is just a proposal,” she said.

A final feasibility report is expected Jan. 15. This includes a land survey update, final high school concepts, final fieldhouse concepts, update on district facilities and capital improvement needs, and associated costs.

Even then, Renninger said if the board would approve the conceptual design, it would be followed by multiple design phases, and chances for public input and other approval steps.

“This is the starting point. We have to start somewhere,” said Bryant Wesley, III, school board president.

Loughead said the district would also have to weigh in what funding would come from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. He said officials hope to have a narrated version of the presentation online eventually.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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