The Lewisburg Area School District is a learning community that prepares every child individually to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS TO REPURPOSE THE CURRENT LEWISBURG AREA HIGH SCHOOL ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED: DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 1, 2014
Decision to Build a New High School
The Lewisburg Area School Board approved a timeline and preliminary financing to build a new high school on Newman Road on November 14, 2013. Construction is estimated to begin in the fall of 2014 and the building will be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2016. This decision was based on more than five years of study, analysis, planning, and extensive community engagement.
The board voted unanimously to approve the Master Facilities Plan in November of 2010, which included locating a new high school on Newman Road in Kelly Township. The decision was based upon two and a half years of study that included four community forums, two independent feasibility studies, information at the public library with comment cards, a blog on our website, a public hearing, and recommendations from a committee that was composed of representatives of various segments of our school stakeholder community, including parents, community members, teachers, administrators, and board members. We engaged the community extensively in a variety of ways to provide an opportunity for input into the decision, and even to introduce their own ideas for consideration by participants in the community forums. The rationale for the final decision in 2010 to locate the high school on the 205 acre tract that the district already owns, was that investing in a complete reconstruction of a new high school would be necessary if we stayed at the current location, and although the cost would be within two million dollars, the current location would not address the long term needs of the district.
As we plan for the future and the investment of large amounts of community resources in this important project, we must do so with the objective of planning an educational facility that will serve our community for the next century. The most recent census (2010) shows that Kelly Township experienced the largest increase in population since 2000, than any community in Union Co. The Union County Comprehensive Plan places the largest projected growth areas in East Buffalo Township (65%), Union Township (55%), and Kelly Township (43%) through 2050, and the new high school location is within the county planned, designated growth area. Lewisburg Borough is only projected to grow by 7%. We are a regional, rural school district with only 13% of our population located in the Lewisburg Borough. The current high school location does not provide the space necessary to accommodate future growth, especially considering the additional square footage that is currently needed.
In early 2011, we faced the state fiscal crisis and the planning slowed. In June of 2012, the board adopted a flexible timeline that continued planning and design of the high school with a construction date to occur between 2014 and 2017. The fiscal outlook has improved, and we are pleased to be able to move forward with our plans and take advantage of historically low interest rates. In addition, we are able to pay for the new school without increasing taxes for debt service, due in part to the refinancing of our 2005 bond at a lower interest rate. The financing permits us to continue to keep our payments at the current annual payment amount, so no tax increase is necessary to fund the building of the high school.
There has been some misinformation circulating that athletic fields were the reason the board voted to relocate the school. While we do plan to construct some grass athletic fields at the new high school site, we have no plans to construct a football stadium as part of the current project. However, we are hopeful that private donors may want to fund such an effort in the future.
Re-purposing the Current High School Building
We are advocates of re-purposing the existing high school and preserving this important historic structure as the gateway to one of our Regional School District's important communities. We have been in discussions with the YMCA and they have plans to collaborate with several businesses and community organizations to develop the existing high school into a much needed indoor recreational and educational facility that serves all ages of residents from across the region. Their plans include construction of an indoor swimming pool, racket ball courts and various amenities that would benefit our students, our community, and our local business economy.
In our eyes, this is a win-win proposition for our children and taxpayers of the community, while setting the stage to provide quality education for many decades into the future. For additional information about the history and decisions regarding the Master Facilities Planning Process, please visit the “History of the Master Facilities Planning Process” link below.
2013: LAHS recognized by Newsweek as one of the best for College Preparation
2013, 2012, 2011: Named one of the Best Communities for Music Education in the US
2013 & 2012: LASD ranked 16th of 500 districts on state exams - Top 4% in PA
2012: LAHS ranked #1 in PA on the 11th Grade PSSA Science Exam
2012: LAHS ranked in the top 5% of PA High Schools on the SAT
2012 & 2009: LAHS received the US News Silver Medal - Top 4% in the Nation
2010: Donald Eichhorn Middle School selected as a National Schools to Watch Site
2010: Donald Eichhorn MIddle School ranked #1 in PA on the 8th Grade Math PSSA Exam
Registration for Text Messaging System
History of the Master Facilites Planning Process