Rib­bon cut on ex­panded, ren­o­vated high school

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

LOWER POTTSGROVE » Matt Alexan­der and Justin Valen­tine both re­mem­ber long nights spent in the plan­ning and de­bat­ing how much ren­o­va­tion and ex­pan­sion was ap­pro­pri­ate for Pottsgrove High School.

The cur­rent and for­mer school board pres­i­dent will now also re­mem­ber speak­ing at the lectern in the new lobby Fri­day af­ter­noon about how it was all worth it.

More than a year after it opened for classes in its new form, dis­trict of­fi­cials held a open house and ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for the three-year $30 mil­lion pro­ject.

The ex­pan­sion added a new gym­na­sium, new ath­letic space, new art, sci­ence and en­gi­neer­ing class­rooms and ex­panded the li­brary and cafe­te­ria.

“When­ever I drive past the build­ing now, I think ‘it looks just like the ar­chi­tects pic­tures,’” Valen­tine said.

“I love this pro­ject, the en­ergy, how in­volved the staff and even the stu­dents were in mak­ing the de­ci­sions,” said Mike Kelly, pro­ject’s chief ar­chi­tect from KCBA Ar­chi­tects.

“When we first started talk­ing about this pro­ject, it an was $11 mil­lion build­ing en­ve­lope pro­ject,” said for­mer Pottsgrove School Board Pres­i­dent Justin Valen­tine. “I’m glad the ad­min­is­tra­tion had the wis­dom to get us to look at a broader pro­ject.”

Alexan­der said he has dealt with the pro­ject all four years of his first term on the board.

“We re­ally are now in the 21st Cen­tury for ed­u­ca­tion and this pro­ject takes a big step to­ward our goal of mak­ing Pottsgrove a school dis­trict of choice,” he said.

“This is a state of the art fa­cil­ity, mod­eled on what the world, work place and uni­ver­si­ties look like,” said Prin­ci­pal Wil­liam Ziegler.

After the rib­bon was cut, visitors were of­fered a tour of the build­ing, which in­cludes new spa­ces for art, mu­sic, sci­ence and athletics.

The dis­trict will also bury a time cap­sule that is not to be opened un­til 2041.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Pottsgrove School Board Pres­i­dent Matt Alexan­der and Su­per­in­ten­dent Wil­liam Shirk cut the rib­bon ded­i­cat­ing the ex­panded and ren­o­vated Pottsgrove High School

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Res­i­dents tak­ing Fri­day’s tour of the ren­o­vated high school stop by the school’s new li­brary.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

For­mer school board pres­i­dent Justin Valen­tine says the board spent “many late nights” on plan­ning for the high school ex­pan­sion and ren­o­va­tion.

EVAN BRANDT — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

At var­i­ous points on the tour, plac­ards such as this one out­side the new gym­na­sium, showed the work done to each area

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