Welcome To The McDowell H.S. Consolidation Project
On July 30, 2012, the Millcreek Township Board of School Directors voted 8-1 in favor of consolidating McDowell Senior High and McDowell Intermediate High School. The project includes plans to relocate football field to the east side of Caughey Road. The local firm of Halgren, Restifo, Loop and Coughlin was selected as the architects to work on the project.
The Board’s decision followed nearly three years of discussion and more than 35 public meetings that included information gathering, presentations, and public comments. Over the course of those discussions, options for renovating both buildings were also presented. The Board determined it was in the best long term interest for both taxpayers and students of our District to move forward with consolidation.
Since 2005, two feasibility studies have been conducted by two different firms. Every building in the District was surveyed and assessed. After careful consideration of the findings of the building survey and the recommendations of the architects, the Board of School Directors determined that McDowell High School is the building with greatest need. McDowell High School rose to this level because of a combination of mechanical and structural deficiencies as well as practical deficiencies.
Some of those deficiencies include, but are not limited to:
- Electrical systems at serviceable limits
- HVAC systems have exceeded expected longevity
- Plumbing needs to be replaced
- ADA accessibility issues exist
- Roofing is in poor condition
- Flooring and carpets need to be replaced
- Insufficient science labs
- Lack of space in hallways and stairwells create safety concerns
- Lack of flexibility of educational space
McDowell Intermediate High School is also in need of renovations and significant system upgrades. Anyone who has visited M.I.H.S. is aware of the large areas of underutilized space. Renovation and reallocation of space at M.I.H.S. will greatly enhance the functionality and efficiency of the building.
The Board of School Directors solicited input from two architectural firms for the purposes of generating and assessing options. It was the consensus of both firms that a comprehensive renovation of both buildings would cost approximately $75 million, but would not address all of the structural and practical needs of the buildings. Various consolidation options had price tags in the $85-110 million range. Renovations to both buildings with structural changes at McDowell to widen stairways and hallways and increase the size of classrooms topped $110 million. When assessing these options the Board of School Directors determined the sizeable benefits of a consolidation project outweighed the modest gains of renovations to both buildings.
Consolidation of both buildings enables the District to:
- Maximize state reimbursement of funds
- Reduce overhead costs associated with maintaining two buildings
- Greatly eliminates the duplication of services and facilitates the sharing of educational and administrative resources