First phase of $100M renovation project begins at Northeastern High School

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch
Northeastern High School in Manchester, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Northeastern School District launched its first phase of renovations at Northeastern High School, a project that will have a continued financial impact on the district for years to come. 

The first phase of the three-phase project is slated to be complete in 2022. Overall, the renovations are expected to cost about $100 million, which the district is paying for partially through a series of tax hikes. 

District officials included a 0.8% tax increase in the 2021-22 budget, which was approved in May. Brian Geller, the district's director of operations, said the increase is expected to generate an additional $330,000, all of which will go toward the renovations. 

The district's proposed millage rate for 2021-22 would be 26.69. The millage rate is per $1,000 of a home's assessed value. To determine the property taxes for a home, multiply the millage rate by the home's assessed value and divide by 1,000.

All further tax hikes in upcoming budget years will also support the project, Geller said. According to a previous York Dispatch report, the district is planning tax increases for the next eight years to pay for the renovations. 

More:York County school districts split on increasing taxes in upcoming budgets

More:After locking in 9 years of tax hikes, Northeastern already facing higher costs for school project

Proposed new student commons for Project 1 of an extensive Northeastern High School renovation project. Rendering provided at the end of the design development phase, presented to the school board on Monday, March 2, 2020.

Phase one will focus on the middle third of the high school and will include a new cafeteria and student common space, renovating 40 classrooms and reconfiguring the math, science and English departments.

The old cafeteria was on the north side of the building, and the renovations will put it in a more central location, according to Michael Kautter, president of the architectural firm leading the project, Kautter & Kelly Architects. 

District officials have been discussing the renovation project since at least 2018. Like many other districts, Northeastern updated its facilities over several years and reached a point at which major renovations or a complete rebuild of its largest building were necessary, Kautter said.