Wyoming Area study offers construction options ranging from $9.6M to $26M

By Mark Guydish - mguydish@timesleader.com | July 25th, 2015 11:11 am

EXETER — Wyoming Area became the third Luzerne County school district in eight months to mull costly feasibility study options, releasing a lengthy report that estimates critical maintenance on district buildings and athletic fields at $9.6 million, and district-wide changes that would cost as much as $26 million.

The 242-page study by KCBA Architects includes extensive review of the district’s facilities and details recommended work for each, ranking each job with five levels of priority from long-term to critical.

It also offers suggestions for seven “independent options” for limited work with estimates ranging from $1.24 million for upgrading baseball and softball fields to $9.5 million for renovations and an addition to John F. Kennedy Elementary.

The report provides four district-wide “core options,” with two variations for core option 3 — the one recommended by KCBA. The least expensive core option 1 would address only the maintenance issues ranked as critical, at an estimated cost of $9.6 million. The other options make critical repairs and close Sarah J. Dymond Elementary. Core option 4 would close JFK Elementary as well.

Core option 3 would also add a two-grade middle school section onto the existing secondary center and introduce district-wide pre-kindergarten classes, at an estimated cost of $20.88 million. Core option 3A goes one step further by taking care of all non-critical problems at the Secondary Center, bumping total cost to $25.99 million.

Feasibility studies have popped up several times in recent months.

The most controversial has been a report listing options for Wilkes-Barre Area’s three high schools. Last month, the School Board voted to consolidated Meyers and Coughlin at a new facility to be built on the Coughlin site, a move that has triggered a growing backlash among Meyers supporters. The plan also calls for expanding Kistler Elementary. Total cost is estimated at about $100 million.

A feasibility study at Greater Nanticoke Area offered three options for revamping the elementary school system, and last month, the School Board voted to take the first steps toward closing K.M. Smith Elementary and expanding J.F. Kennedy Elementary at an estimated cost of about $8 million.


By Mark Guydish


Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish