AllentownSchool District

Allentown School District Discusses Replacing Harrison Morton Middle School

Allentown School District Discusses Replacing Harrison Morton Middle School
Posted on 04/22/2021

ALLENTOWN, PA — At its April 22 meeting, the Allentown Board of School Directors adopted the Allentown School District’s 2021 Feasibility Study Update.

Click Here to View the complete ASD District Wide Feasibility Study

The newly adopted document makes several updates to the district’s 2017 Feasibility Study. The updates pertain to assessing existing conditions, educational needs, enrollment trends, and construction options to address the District’s most pressing facility needs. 

The study provides the Board of School Directors with decision-making tools to develop future capital plans aligned with the district’s Strategic Framework. It prioritizes ensuring that students feel safe, valued and nurtured in state-of-the-art facilities. The study will also serve as a guide as the District and Board consider future renovations or new construction projects.

The key finding in both this update and the district’s 2016 Physical Condition Assessment is that several ASD buildings have critical deficiencies and are in need of renovation or replacement. The update specifically recommends the district replace Harrison Morton Middle School due to the anticipated costs of correcting existing physical deficiencies. Harrison Morton, serving more than 800 students, is one of the oldest buildings in the district, built 147 years ago.

The district estimates repairs to HMMS would exceed $30 million. As the total cost of the necessary capital improvements projected over a 10-year period is approaching the cost of replacement, the District and Board have begun to consider the construction of a new school.

“The Board and Administration are committed to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for our students, said Nicholas Miller, Vice President of the ASD Board and Building Committee Chair. “The feasibility study identifies the need and potential options the district may consider to make a strategic and community focused investment in our district infrastructure.”

 

In addition, the Commonwealth’s current PlanCon moratorium may be lifted in the near future. If that happens, having an updated study will better position the District to seek reimbursement through immediate submission of required PlanCon materials.

Tonight, the ASD Board of Directors took action to purchase property within the current neighborhood of HMMS. This purchase was accomplished through remaining bond proceeds from the Hays Elementary School project.

"The ASD board is pleased to accept the feasibility study, especially because it provides opportunities for the district to address our critical needs in the Harrison Morton community." said Nancy Wilt, President of the ASD Board.  "The actions taken tonight will allow us to invest in our future and ensures that middle schools students in ASD will learn in a safe and healthy environment for decades to come."

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Below please find the Feasibility Study Update presentation from the April 22 Board Meeting: