• *Due to the school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, information is subject to change.

    Kickoff meeting with Hunt established survey, tentative public meeting dates

    Engineers from Hunt will be back at Bellefonte Area School District on March 12-13 to conduct a building condition survey, which will allow them to review each district elementary building. It’s part of the needs assessment that was approved by the school board in February for the proposed elementary project.

    Members of the district and school board met with representatives from Hunt on March 4 at a kickoff meeting to discuss preliminary details of the proposal in addition to providing Hunt with past feasibility studies. The latest study was conducted by Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates in 2017.

    According to the district’s Director of Physical Plant Aaron Barto, the building condition review on Thursday and Friday will include an assessment of electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC testing and more. Results will be released at the end of March during a building committee progress meeting that aims to present findings from the survey.

    Elementary schools within Bellefonte Area School District are Bellefonte, Benner, Marion-Walker and Pleasant Gap.

    The Bellefonte Area school board also plans to establish a building committee to help oversee the elementary project. The next board meeting will be held 7 p.m. March 10 at Benner Elementary School, 490 Buffalo Run Road.

    Tentative public meeting dates have also been established for April 2 and 30 and May 14. These dates are subject to change. More information about time and location will be released at a later date.

    The board plans to select an elementary building option by Mid-June. Options include:

    • rebuilding Bellefonte Elementary School;
    • combining Bellefonte and Benner elementary schools;
    • combining Bellefonte, Benner and Pleasant Gap elementary schools;
    • combining of all four elementary schools; or
    • building new and renovating other schools.

    The possibility of constructing a new elementary building would likely be done on district land behind Bellefonte Area High School on East Bishop Street in Bellefonte. That land – 107.57 acres – was purchased for $4.5 million in 2011 with the intent of eventually using it for new elementary school grounds.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD