Dover Area schools vote to increase taxes in next year's budget

Dover Area Schools to interview architects

Alyssa Pressler

The Dover Area school board will interview architects this week to begin to plan for possible building projects.

The public is invited to attend the interviews, which will take place Wednesday and Thursday. Four firms will participate and will present a number of building scenarios, including the construction of a new school and the renovation of another.

Facilities, safety and technology manager David Nelson talks about the 210-person occupancy limit in the observation area for swimming events at Dover Area Intermediate School in Dover, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. The school has no handicap-accessible way of reaching the second floor. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The district has been exploring the possibility of building a new high school for several months. No decisions have been made, but Superintendent Ken Cherry has said at previous board meetings and in past interviews that the district is exploring all of its options.

Dover Area district explores new high school

Currently, the district is looking into demolishing the intermediate school and replacing it with a new high school. The intermediate students then would move to the existing high school, with renovations occurring there, too.

In July, the school board approved the development of a design team and an advertisement seeking interested architects. Ultimately, the design team will work with the architect to come up with a rough idea of what the plans could look like so the cost of the project can be discussed.

Then, the final proposal would be presented to the school board for approval or denial.

Residents weigh in against new Dover Area High School

The four firms being considered are McKissick Associates Architects, RLPS Architects, EI Associates and Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates Architects.

Cherry has said there is an immediate need to update the intermediate school, which has a number of issues. A walk through with David Nelson, the district manager for facilities, safety and technology, revealed outdated technology, a lack of handicap accessibility in the front of the building, no elevator to the second floor and asbestos tiles in many of the classrooms, which would require expensive measures to ensure safety.

A full list of the problems with the intermediate school can be found at the end of this article.

McKissick Associates Architects will be interviewed at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and RLPS Architects will follow at 7:30 p.m. On Thursday. EI Associates will be interviewed at 6 p.m., and Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates will be interviewed at 7:30 p.m. All interviews will take place at the district administration office located at 101 Edgeway Road, Dover.

A list of the problems in the intermediate school, according to Nelson, is below:

  • Not enough handicap accessibility in the front of the building. 
  • No elevator to get to the second floor of the building.
  • Single-pane windows in classrooms dating to the 1960s are not energy-efficient. 
  • Paint is peeling on the walls. 
  • Restrooms have old floor urinals, which were installed in the 1960s.
  • Hallways are not wide enough for the student body. 
  • Many classrooms only have one or two electrical outlets; not technologically compatible. 
  • Outside classrooms are cold and inconvenient for the kids. 
  • Many classrooms have window air-conditioning units, which are loud and make it difficult for students to pay attention. 
  • The gym, cafeteria and auditorium are not air conditioned. 
  • Many of the classrooms have asbestos tiles. 
  • Gym is not regulation sized, making basketball games cramped. 
  • The pool needs to be re-painted every two years and only has six lanes compared to the typical eight lanes. 
  • There is not enough seating in the pool area, and what seating exists is not handicap accessible. 
  • The stage in the auditorium is used for band and choir practice as well as a storage place.