Construction is progressing on the Gov. Mifflin School District’s community athletic center on South Waverly Street.
Equipment and materials now cover the field across from the high school, between the high school stadium and a turf practice field, where the 68,500-square-foot structure is being built.
The community center will include a 2,000-seat gymnasium, as well as locker and team rooms, a wrestling room, sports medicine center, weight room, and a multipurpose room that can accommodate meetings, physical education classes and more.
Much of the building’s foundations were laid over the summer, and installation of concrete piers and footings in some areas of the building is now substantially complete, according to an update on the district’s website.
Steel for the structure was delivered in September, and construction of walls has begun in some areas.
Construction of the center began with a groundbreaking ceremony May 17.
Work on the facility is slated to wrap up in September, according to Ashley Shannon-Huembes, director of communications and community relations.
Shannon-Huembes said the district is 25% to 30% through the building’s construction.
Building the community athletic center is the second phase of the district’s $58 million plan to revamp the middle school and high school.
The plan came about after a 2017 facilities study revealed the need for $40 million in renovations to the secondary facilities.
Faced with the substantial cost of repairs, the district worked with school staff, community members and designers from Schrader Group Architecture, Philadelphia, to come up with a blueprint for modernizing the district’s school space.
The plan’s first phase — which finished this summer — involved upgrades to heating and ventilation systems to improve air quality and limit the spread of airborne disease, as well as a campuswide switch to energy-saving LED lighting, renovations to create new orchestra space, and making bathrooms and stairwells disability accessible.
When the community center is built, the district will start the third phase: a comprehensive repurposing of the middle and high school gyms.
Physical education instruction in the middle and high school will be moved to the community center, and the gyms in both buildings will be remodeled into cafeterias, media centers and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) learning areas.
Other phase three changes will include renovating the high school auditorium; building a single, secure entrance to the middle school; and modernizing science labs in both buildings.
The entire project is expected to conclude in December 2024.
The project’s cost will not impact millage rates in the district, according to school officials because the district was able to refinance its debt and secure low interest rates for another bond issuance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
District residents will also benefit by being able to use the community center’s fitness center and other amenities, Shannon-Huembes said.
Source: Berkshire mont