Doe Run Elementary’s name won’t change

By on February 8, 2017

Manheim Central School District has selected a name for the elementary school that’s currently being constructed on Doe Run Road. Superintendent Peter Aiken said that the on Jan. 23 the school board selected Doe Run Elementary as the name for the school.

It’s also the name of the school that it’s replacing on the site. The original Doe Run 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 October 2014. Aiken said that the district sought input from residents regarding the name and the suggestions were brought before the board.

As for construction of the new Doe Run, Aiken said on Jan. 31 that the $32.6 million project is about 65 percent complete, putting it on target for completion in late summer. Students are expected to begin the 2017-18 school year in the new 148,000-square-foot two-story building, which has been designed for up to 1,000 students in kindergarten through grade four.

The new Doe Run isn’t the district’s only building project. When students move into the new Doe Run, work is expected to begin on what’s known as the Gramby Street Elementary. The one-and-a-half story high media center’s tall glass windows will be the focal point of the nearly 86,000-square-foot building that will be located at the corner of Gramby and Hazel streets. Estimated cost of this building, which can house up to 500 students in grades K to 4, is $18.4 million.

The Gramby Street project is under review by Manheim Borough. Borough manager Jim Fisher said in a Jan. 31 email that the borough planning commission reviewed the plan in January and recommended conditional approval. He anticipates that council will take action on the plan during the Feb. 14 meeting.

District business manager Bryan Howett said that the project is expected to go to bid in March, which is about the same time as Doe Run went to bid last year. Demolition of the former middle school will be included as part of the bid. Both Howett and Aiken anticipate that completion on the new Gramby Street School in February or March 2018 and students would be in the building in the Fall of 2018.

“The Gramby Street site is much tighter than Doe Run, and we’ve been extremely lucky with the weather for the Doe Run project so it’s progressed a bit faster than we expected,” Howett said. “We’ve factored in a bit of extra time to allow for potential construction snags like weather.”

Aiken said that there will also be a similar naming process for the Gramby Street School.

The new schools are one part of a long-term process for the district. Another part is to change from a three elementary school configuration to a two elementary school configuration. What that means is closing older buildings such as Stiegel and H.C. Burgard and redrawing attendance lines. Aiken said that the school board is considering closing the 102-year-old Stiegel Elementary in the fall. A hearing was held on this proposal on Jan. 30 and the school board will vote on the proposal in early May.

“We’ve been discussing this for a number of years,” Howett said.

With regard to attendance lines being redrawn, a special school board meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 13, and Davis Demographics will present several options. A town hall meeting will be held at 7 p.m., on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the middle school auditorium to provide the public an opportunity to share thoughts and/or concerns about the proposed elementary attendance zones. Davis Demographics will not be at that meeting.

Aiken said that the school board will take action on redrawing attendance zones during a Feb. 21 meeting.

“We’re trying to be totally transparent about this process,” he stressed. “We’ve given a lot of consideration to this — our focus is to have a student only move elementary schools once. Our goal continues to be providing our students with an exceptional educational experience.”

Updated information is available on the district’s website: manheimcentral.org.

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *