Facilities News

south exterior photo
Taking a Closer Look at South Elementary School

You may be aware that our Ad Hoc Facilities Committee has been exploring the condition of South Elementary School and has initiated conversations to address facility concerns at the building. This issue has come to the forefront following air quality tests that were conducted in August 2018. The tests indicated the presence of mold spores in several classrooms in the downstairs (5th grade) hallway - not entirely surprising given the excessive rain that increased moisture content in the building, but still of serious concern. In response, the district cleaned, sanitized, and ventilated the classroom areas. Several groups of students were relocated to different spaces in the building. Follow-up air quality testing indicated significant decreases in mold spores, and that levels are now well within normal ranges. However, as our Operations team investigated sources of moisture in the building and how to offset it, the need for new windows, doors, and flooring (due to old carpet) was reinforced. As we began to consider making upgrades to the district's oldest school, other options began to emerge, given declining student enrollment and the desire to provide a learning environment for South that is comparable to other buildings.

Community meetings were held Oct. 22 and Oct. 29. This page was created to provide additional information for the community as various options are discussed. It is important to remember that no decisions have been made at this time. You may access presentations that have been given on the topic of facilities by clicking the buttons on the right. 

Two additional community meetings were planned to assist in evaluating the options that have been presented so far. The first one was held Nov. 28 and the second was held on Dec. 11. Presentations from both meetings are accessible by clicking the buttons on the right.

A feasibility study of all district facilities has been completed by AEM Architects. Highlights from that study were presented at the Dec. 3 School Board work session. You may access the presentation by clicking on the link at right. A more detailed exploration of needs specific to South Elementary School was presented by AEM at the Dec. 10th School Board meeting. That presentation is also available on the right.

The Perkiomen Valley School District Board of Directors held a Special Topic Meeting on Dec. 18 to hear a presentation from district consultant, Phil Mowry of PHM Associates. Mr. Mowry advised the School Board on the Energy Savings Contract (ESCO) process and how it could be pursued to help address South's facility needs. Please review meeting minutes (they will be available in BoardDocs once the Board has approved them) or listen to the audio recording of this meeting in BoardDocs. You may also visit our Twitter feed to learn more about his discussion with the Board.

Following the Jan. 7 Board work session, South is now on track for renovation, following the Board's decision to commit to a building project through the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act. The School Board approved a resolution to proceed with a "Phase III" project, which will include upgrades for South. The district will be working with consultant PHM Associates to finalize the scope of the project over the next several weeks. Additionally, a request for proposals has been issued for an ESCO (Energy Service Company) to complete the work, allowing the district to forgo the traditional bid process. Through an agreement with an ESCO, the district is guaranteed to generate energy savings that, over time, cover a portion of the project costs.

Learn More

We invite you to click on the links below for additional information related to Ad Hoc Facilities Committee discussions related to South Elementary School. Questions/concerns may be directed to Superintendent Dr. Barbara A. Russell or the School Board