District looks to add new K-2 building
Structure would replace Antonelli Institute art school
SPRINGFIELD» If all goes well, Springfield Township School District will have a new home for its growing family by December 2019.
In early May, district officials presented a sketch plan to the township for a K-2 elementary school on Paper Mill Road. The new structure, which would replace the Antonelli Institute art school, would include associated bus access, a car drop-off area, a parking lot and play areas.
The decision to build stems in part from a 2013 demographic study conducted by the Montgomery County Planning Commission. Analyses considered student enrollment and population projections within the district. The study found that the district’s current facilities are unequipped to deal with the projections, which showed a 25 percent increase in population over the next decade.
MCPC’S findings were corroborated by a districtwide feasibility study in October 2015 by Gilbert Architects, which considered state-driven functional capacity requirements. The feasibility study also revealed considerable safety concerns with increased vehicular traffic at Enfield Elementary, buses lined up along Paper Mill Road, and numerous infrastructure issues that needed to be addressed.
As district officials delved into the matter, two options began to surface: retrofit existing structures at an estimated cost of $23 million to $26 million, or construct a new building for $32 million.
“From there, it was a nobrainer,” said Dr. Nancy Hacker, district superintendent. “We decided that it was much more costeffective to build a new school which holds three grade levels than refurbish an existing building which only houses two grade levels.”
Acquiring enough space for the project was one less concern for the district.
“The site we chose made a significant amount of sense,” Hacker said. “We already own the land.