THE BLUE GYMNASIUM:
As part of the first phase of the project, the blue gym will be demolished as construction commences.
The District is fortunate enough to have another varsity sized gymnasium that will be utilized during the day for Physical Education classes, and late in the afternoon for practices and games. However, it will complicate the use of the facilities by community organizations. District activities will take priority over the use of the facilities by an outside group.
We do not anticipate that indoor athletic events will be impacted, and will continue to play on campus. We currently expect that athletic activities using the baseball and field hockey fields will be impacted during the construction period. We expect that other local facilities will be utilized to help accommodate their scheduling needs.
We do understand that there will be construction vehicles and noise on campus, but the district will be taking every measure possible to ensure limited impact to the educational environment and the neighborhood at large during the construction period.
The drop-off will be located on campus at the southwest corner of the stadium, on the inside edge of the adjacent parking lot. Students and staff will walk from this location under a covered canopy to the building entrance.
REGARDING TRAFFIC SIGNALS:
(with specific reference to the light at the entrance to E.T. Richardson Middle School)
PennDOT issues final approval for the signalization of all traffic lights and did so for the ETR signal. We can review this matter further but any changes to the proposed signalization would need to be coordinated with the Township and approved by PennDOT.
Thus far, the High School Master Plan project has been in the concept and planning phase; as such, all timelines and schedules are approximate. For planning purposes, the Facilities Committee has used an anticipated a year for design completion and the construction bid process and a 3 year total project duration, which includes 2 years to construct the new building and a year for demolition of the current structure and development of the athletic fields. However, duration could vary as the project specifications progress.
PROJECT COST AND TAX IMPACT:
When the planning began in 2012/13, the cost of the whole project was estimated to be around $110,000,000 in 2012/13 dollars. Adjusting for escalation, assuming a project midpoint of 2019, the estimated cost of the whole project would be around $130,000,000.
The projected tax impact to the average homeowner is approximately 1% per year to finance the new construction project; the increase will be phased in over 9 years. This increase is in addition to the annual tax millage increase required to operate the district and provide the educational program to students. For the 2016-2017 school year, the total combined millage increase was 2.36%.
The average home in Springfield and Morton is assessed at $146,050; for a home at that assessment, the total tax increase for the new construction project after 9 years is projected to be around $399 (an average of $44 per year). This was discussed in detail during the fifth Town Hall Meeting; information from that presentation is available on the district website here: SHSMP Town Hall 5.
GYMNASIUMS IN THE NEW DESIGN:
The proposed master plan for the new high school will include two full gymnasiums similar to what is included in the current school. Both facilities will include full regulation basketball courts and side baskets in each gym to accommodate multiple functions and students.
OFF CAMPUS PRACTICE:
With a project of this magnitude, there have been numerous discussions and planning hours by the Springfield School District on how this project will impact students’ learning and extracurricular activities. Our priority has always been to minimize these impacts and develop solutions that make this period of interruption to activities as manageable as possible. Given the geography of our community and the developed area with limited open space, the district has made many inquiries to come up with alternatives to support the athletic programs being impacted by the construction.
While the stadium will be in service until the end of November 2018, practice and games for certain programs will need to be held off campus while its construction continues into late 2019 to early 2020.
We understand this is not the ideal situation for any of our students and families, but the district is fortunate to have the Township partner with them to provide Church Road Park as a practice and game facility for the impacted programs. While the teams play on the township field, the district will be providing resources similar to the existing field maintenance provided at the on-campus baseball field. Work on these areas will be commencing shortly in order to have these fields available for use for the fall sports programs impacted by the construction.
The Springfield School District is dedicated to making this transition as smooth as possible, and we will be providing all students with transportation to and from any off-campus practices and competitions.