York Suburban High School gets summer upgrades


York Suburban High School might look a lot different when students return from summer break, as the school's summer upgrades include a new secure entrance.

New school buildings have entrances that contain visitors in a vestibule or office after they're buzzed in, said Barry Girling, York Suburban's director of facilities, but the old system at the high school's entrance allowed visitors to go anywhere in the building after they were buzzed in.

"Now we'll be able to identify who is coming in and what they need," he said. "We reconfigured the office with an exterior door, so now all visitors will go through that door and then into the office."

Paying for it: The school board during an April meeting approved a $371,000 bid for the secure entrance project.

The facade of the building is also getting maintenance, Girling said.

"We're just kind of cleaning it up," he said. "The building dates back to 1958 and there are many years of dirt that we're getting rid of."

The school board in May approved spending $53,800 for the facade work.

Girling said the summer work is the first in a series of phases — to tidy up the masonry, mortar and concrete on the building — which will take place over the next couple of years.

Athletics: The school's fitness room also has been moved, Girling said.

"We basically relocated the fitness room from the auxiliary gym to the rear of the building, which makes it much more convenient for the staff and students to access," he said.

Repairs and upgrades on the track also are on schedule; it was closed to the public beginning in June and is expected to be reopened sometime in August.

The $500,000 renovations include the resurfacing of the track as well as a surface coating to delay natural wear and tear. The fence surrounding the facility also will be repaired, and the paths around the track will be restructured.

Gym: A section of wood flooring failed in the auxiliary gym, so that must be replaced, Girling said.

School board members are exploring options and during a Monday meeting discussed what would be required to convert it into an effective teaching space. They aired a "wish list" for the facility, Girling said.

Superintendant Shelly Merkle advocated for an upgrade to the sound system.

"The sound system in the gym is embarrassing," she said. "People can't understand anything at sporting events. It's antiquated and needs to be updated."

Upgrades to gym are still in the early planning stages, Girling said.

"Right now it's basically a discussion item, and within the next month or two it's something we'll start to move forward with," he said.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at