New Eagle Elementary undertakes construction project

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By Betty Ben Dor, Photography Editor

With a booming increase in enrollment size, New Eagle Elementary School is currently undertaking a construction project to create more space for students. Over the summer, Daley and Jalboot Architects replaced old cabinetry in the school, changed all of the pipes, updated the countertops and mechanically improved the building infrastructure. The firm has worked on multiple projects for the district in the past, including last year’s renovations of Conestoga.

The company’s work over the summer was the first phase of an extended project expected to be complete by Feb. 26. With the start of the school year, the construction has moved outside as workers build two additional classrooms to extend the upper division wing that houses third and fourth grade classes. The only disruption to the school is the relocation of the carpool lane to the back of the building. All classes will continue as normal.

[media-credit name=”Construction site by the front of New Eagle Elementary | Betty Ben Dor” align=”alignleft” width=”400″][/media-credit]

Although efforts have been made to try and resolve the lack of space problem, it became impossible to proceed without construction.

“New Eagle needed some extra space, and we’ve done some interior alterations over the years trying to create space within the building, but we got to a point where that was less possible, if at all,” Daley and Jalboot project architect Mort Isaacson said.

The school has an ongoing partnership with the Pennsylvania Information Management System, which projects the student enrollment in future years. Kindergarten sections have increased to four while the number of fourth grade sections has expanded to five. In addition, New Eagle has introduced two new programs: an elementary emotional support program, as well as an elementary life skills program, creating a need for more classroom space.

“I think everyone needs a sense of belonging, so every program will have a designated space and there won’t be the need to share a classroom,” New Eagle principal Karen Whyte said.

The school has been forced to continue the project into the school year due to the extensive amount of work, leading to some anxiety over possible classroom disruption.

“The classrooms do need to be expanded, but of course it would be better if they maybe could have done it before school,” New Eagle parent Lisa Buraks said. “I suppose it needs to be done, and they’re taking care of it.”

According to Isaacson, if the construction noise during the school day becomes too distracting, Whyte will communicate with the contractor, who has “been very good about trying to make changes to how he does his work so that it is not a negative impact on the school.”

Overall, Whyte and the district have collaborated with three contractors, an architect, engineers and a consultant to create a more spacious and comfortable learning environment for the students.

“Everyone will have their own classroom space, their own communities within the classroom,” Whyte said.

Betty Ben Dor can be reached at [email protected].