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LASD Maple Avenue Middle School Faces Substantial Renovations or Demolition

A preliminary feasibility study conducted by the Littlestown Area School District (LASD) has identified substantial problems with its buildings and infrastructure.

The study, conducted by RLPS Architects and presented to the school board by Chris Linky and Andy Blaydon, provided 1 to 5 ratings of each of the three evaluated school buildings in the district. The determination showed Alloway Creek Elementary School with a 3.33 rating and Littlestown High School at a 2.67 rating which suggested they would need light to medium renovations. But the Maple Avenue Middle School was rated at 1.72 meaning it needs heavy renovations or demolition.

The report, which is only about half completed, said systems in all three schools are approaching or already past their expected 20-year replacement timeframe.

The middle school, which was originally built in 1932, was the main focus of the report, which noted major problems. According to the report the building has asbestos-containing materials, equipment and systems past their service life, and single-loaded corridors. The report also noted a need for separating public and education spaces and updating of the classrooms and labs.

“While some options may be repurposing or reusing the middle school for educational spaces,” said Blaydon, “we feel that a lot of our option will recommend back to you likely will suggest not using the middle school for a middle school.”

RLPS also conducted focus groups with 78 participants including current students, teachers, and staff. They found the overarching ideas from the groups were HVAC improvements, technology and Wi-Fi access, having the buildings for community use, and keeping the middle and high schools’ identity.

RLPS expects to return to the LASD Board in May with some early option proposals, and again in September with the final recommended options for a capital project.

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Christina Grim grew up in Shippensburg, PA, Franklin County, and graduated from Shippensburg Area High School. She is an experienced interviewer, researcher, and news reporter, having worked for the Shippensburg News-Chronicle as a staff reporter during college. Driven by the desire to know the facts and answers to today’s issues, she takes seriously the importance of providing the best reporting possible. Ms. Grim earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Messiah College and has worked in her field, either in print or radio/streamed media for the last 25 years. As a single mother, she has learned that the best things in life come from hard work and multi-tasking. She is the mother of two adult children and two cats

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