Hambright Elementary Facing Challenges

By Alyssa Jahnke –

The Penn Manor School Board is working hard to find solutions to renovating Hambright Elementary School.

At the May 2 school board meeting, there was discussion about the school needing to be brought up to code.  With the school district continually growing larger, the amount of room is too small, according to published reports.  The school board wanted to get the citizen’s comments before they made a decision.  The two options presented were renovating it or building a new building. The cost to renovate or build new would not raise taxes for taxpayers.

If the district decides to renovate the school, there will be roughly 20 more years of use added on to Hambright.  The advantages to this is the school will keep its current location and the cost will be lower.  The disadvantages would be the lack of space for construction and the amount of traffic that would be around the school.  Renovating the school would cost an estimated $9.5 million.

Creating a new school would allow no disruption to the learning process and provide specific needs to be met.  The estimated price to build a new school would be $15.5 million. It would take about three years for the school to be built.

One woman that was there had spoken about how her mind was changed from renovating to building a new school.  She said how she did not wan to see the school move location but the lack of space was hurting her childrens’ learning experience.  Her kids have to sit out in the hallway to receive extra help in learning because there are no extra rooms or space to be in.  The school board will decide on a plan for Hambright at the next school board meeting.

Another problem facing the district, is performance contracting.  New light bulbs could be installed in schools.  The cost and savings that would come out of this has not been estimated yet.  Personnel realignment for the 2011-2012 school year was discussed.  Cutting back hours for employees and not replacing those who retire.  They are looking at the staff members leaving and seeing who can not be replaced with the least impact.  This will save money for the school.  The effects of cutting and not replacing hours can hurt the education aspect.  PSSA scores were also brought up, whether they would be hurt by the loss of staff.