Because the South Fayette School District has grown so much in recent years and is projected to keep growing, district officials are contemplating another expansion effort, which was outlined at the school board’s meeting Dec. 9.
“We are out of space where we are right now,” South Fayette Elementary School Principal Laurie Gray said.
Before an audience of about 50 people at South Fayette’s high school theater, Superintendent Kenneth Lockette, the principals of each of the schools in the district and others outlined how the projected $83 million project would proceed. If it goes according to the schedule, the district would have a new elementary school building by 2024, along with a new pupil services center, new transportation and maintenance building and additional classroom space in its other buildings.
The new elementary school is the premier item in the expansion project. The current elementary building was constructed in 1970, is not compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and “doesn’t lend itself to the additions it would need to increase its enrollment capacity,” according to Kevin Hayes of the Hayes Design Group, a Pittsburgh-based architectural firm.
Hayes added that a new building would lend itself to future additions presuming the district keeps growing, and would also be located in the southeast corner of the South Fayette campus, which he said would be a safer location since it is farther from Old Oakdale Road.
The Hayes Design Group conducted a districtwide feasibility study this year that led district officials to conclude they need to expand the number of classrooms. If everything goes according to plan, a renovated middle school would have six new classrooms, with 10 regular classrooms being added to the intermediate school and additional classroom space at the high school that would prevent teachers from having to share classrooms.