Open house at Doe Run Elementary

By on August 30, 2017

Performing the ribbon cutting at the new Doe Run Elementary School were (left to right) school board members Linda Williams and Rob Iosue, Doe Run first grade student Mason, Board President Kim Garner, Doe Run first grade student Eden, school board members Patrick McGeehan and Rebecca Glass. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

Several hundred Manheim area residents turned out Monday, Aug. 28, for the ribbon cutting and open house at Manheim Central’s newest elementary school, Doe Run Elementary.

Located at 281 Doe Run Road in Penn Township, the new 148,000-square-foot two-story building replaces a school of the same name that was on the site. It was abandoned, and later razed, after structural issues were discovered at the 25-year-old school. Doe Run students were relocated to the former middle school at 123 N. Gramby St. in Oct. 2014.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, school board president Kim Garner reminded those in attendance that the building had been in the planning stages for quite some time.

“It’s wonderful to finally see it,” she said. “Children are our future. They’ve always been at the heart of this journey (to a new school).”

Two visitors check out the books in the Doe Run Elementary media center.

“It’s an exciting time for our community at large,” added Superintendent Peter Aiken. “It’s up to us to capitalize on this state-of-the-art facility. The real challenge begins Tuesday as we greet 735 students (in grades K through 4) for the new school year,”

The ribbon cutting itself had a bit of a twist. School board members lined up at the ribbon with colorful elementary school-style scissors, while Garner and two first grade students plied the large ceremonial scissors. After the school was officially open, guests flowed through the doors, many of them pausing to look at the bell from the original Doe Run school that’s on display in the lobby. Maps of the building and QR codes to scan helped guests tour the facility. Students were eager to find their new classrooms; check out the media center (library) and the sweeping view of the surrounding area from its windows; the LGI (large group instruction) area, and the gym and cafeteria, which share a stage area.

Principal Arthur Paynter said his favorite space is the LGI area.

“It will provide great opportunities for teaching and collaboration,” he said.

During kindergarten and elementary orientations that were held in the past week, he said there’s been a positive response to the building from teachers, students and the community.

“This is a community that takes pride in its schools, and they can see the possibilities that exist for learning here,” Paynter said. “It is a big building, and the challenge will be for us to work with the kids to make it feel like one big community.”

Technology and features include a green roof; natural daylighting to reduce energy costs; occupancy and daylight sensors to adjust the level of indoor lighting for brighter and overcast days, and turning it off when an area is not in use; and low-flow plumbing fixtures are estimated to reduce water use by 20 percent versus typical fixtures.

A view of the cafeteria from the second floor overlook. The stage opens to both the cafeteria and gym to allow for flexible use of space.

Robert Schuster, vice president of EI Associates, the architecture and engineering firm for the project, said the building is constructed entirely of products made in the U.S., and many of them also are made in Pennsylvania.

“We’re happy that the tax dollars (used to construct the school) will stay local,” he said.

(Left to right) Manheim Central School Board President Kim Garner, Pennsylvania State Senator Ryan Aument, and Manheim Central Superintendent Peter Aiken at the Doe Run Elementary open house.

He also said the school was designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification for its environmental performance. By pursuing the certification, the district will receive a nearly $2.3 million grant, which brings the cost of construction to $30.3 million.

As the community and school district celebrated the opening of Doe Run Elementary, its next building project is already in the works. The former middle school at 123 E. Gramby St., which also housed the Doe Run students as Doe Run on Gramby, is being razed to make way for a new elementary school. Demolition work began Aug. 21. Anticipated completion is February 2019, and students will occupy the building for the 2019-2020 school year. Business manager Bryan Howett said the design is similar to Doe Run, however it’s scaled down to fit the site.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at






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