What are the needs of the current Dover Area Intermediate School?
- Built in 1964 with additions in 1974 and 1981
- Major program and physical plant improvement needs
- Non-ADA compliant
- Narrow corridors
- Fire systems need to be added and/or updated
- Secure area not conducive
- Building systems are beyond expected life expectancy
- Inadequate electrical service in classrooms
- No common area for educational purposes
- Not enough storage areas/team meeting spaces to store/conference space
- A plethora of flooring asbestos
- Six classrooms in trailers
- Insufficient number of classrooms based on enrollment
- Nurses suite not conducive for wellness and privacy not does it meet needs to high needs students
- Roof need to be replaced due to persistent leakage
- Science labs lacking lab spaces and proper work environment
- Antiquated sound system throughout building and auditorium
- Cafeteria significantly undersized (4 lunch periods required)
- Kitchen not large enough for needs
- Gymnasium undersized (3-point line is on out of bound line)
- Pool filtration system needs replaced
- Pool does not meet current recommended depth and length standards
- Athletic fields do not need PIAA recommended standards
- Single pane windows provide for low efficiently and many leaks within the building
- Auditorium not of adequately sized for enrollment
- Building is not energy efficient
What are the needs of the current Dover Area High School?
- The functioning capacity is 1,187 students. By 2021-2022, projections show a student population of 1,168.
- Flexibility of educational spaces to meet the programming and instructional needs of the high school students in the 21st century including:
- The diverse needs of the district’s special education population.
- Technology needs of students to successfully transition after high school.
- Spaces conducive to teacher and student collaboration.
What needs would be addressed for the entire Dover Area School District by moving forward with the projects?
- Every building in the district will be effected by this project as it will afford the district the ability to integrate sixth grade in the intermediate school in order to create a true middle school.
- By doing such, each of the elementary schools will have additional capacity generated by the vacated sixth grade classrooms removing the need for portable classrooms.
- Provides space for students, staff, and community across the district to collaborate and enhance the educational goals and opportunities set forth by the Directors of the Dover Area School Board.
Land Development Concerns
Traffic Impact Study of Canal Rd and Intermediate Ave:
- Currently, we are in the process working with the township, architects, engineers, and district to analyze all studies and finalize plans.
DEP Approval of Proposed Site:
- Approval by DEP is part of the entire planning process. While there may be minor modifications DEP requires of the district, that will be part of the planning process. Additionally, PDE will not allow the district to accept bids until regulatory agency approvals are received.
Why utilize the Intermediate School site?
- Proximity to existing athletic facilities, existing High School facility (future Intermediate School), and proximity to North Salem Elementary school creating a campus like environment.
- Land development needs in other potential locations
Student Enrollment Trend and Projections
Approved developments planned within Dover Township warrant a building size upgrade that is capable of handling additional students.
- The functional capacity of the current DAHS is at 1,187 students.
- Projected 2020/2021 (school year of proposed high school opening) student enrollment at DAHS without projected estimates for these developments sits at 1,168.
- The PA Department of Education projects district enrollment to remain stable, or decline slightly, through the next few years; however, PDE’s enrollments are based on live births and do not take into consideration future developments within district boundaries.
- At this time, no additional teachers/aides are planned. However, this is reviewed annually as the district adopts/modifies programs and reviews class sizes.
- In 2017-2018, the district employed three one-year teaching positions to deal with “bubble” grades. This need is reevaluated each year.
- Currently, High School class sizes can handle additional 100 students with possible realignment of staff.
- This project does not require the district to hold a referendum.
- In Pennsylvania, school board members are elected locally by their fellow citizens to serve the best interests of the students and tax payers. Discussion for this building project began in October, 2015 with a complete district-wide facility study in August 2016.
- In addition to this presentation, there have been:
- Approximately 14 public board meetings in which school board members and the community were updated on the progress of the project
- Appointment of an architectural firm to study a design
- Approval of PlanCon A/B
- Approval of a bond resolution to secure financing
- Approval of the Act 34 Resolution
- Facilitation of the Act 34 Hearing
- The board has completed all steps necessary to secure PlanCon funding with PDE, and all documents and meeting minutes were immediately posted on the district website and available to the public.
Future Capital Project Needs
- Leib Elementary School’s last renovation occurred in 1997. The 2016 District Wide Facility Study identifies a few physical plant issues that should be addressed through ongoing capital improvements at an estimate of $2,872,104.
- North Salem Elementary School’s was built in 1998. The 2016 District Wide Facility Study identifies a few physical plant issues that should be addressed through ongoing capital improvements at an estimate of $4,014,000.
- In May of 2016, the district completed all necessary steps to apply for PlanCon reimbursement for this project, which was prior to the moratorium and approved by PDE.
- The proposed financing assumes that these funds will not be available to remain conservative in case there is a lack of funding; however, all indication is that the state will fund PlanCon projects already approved.
- The projected reimbursement possible from PDE is could range from $4 to $5.6 million.
- In previous years, the delayed PlanCon reimbursement on historical projects did not place a financial hardship on the district. As soon as the funds were received in 2016-2017, the board transferred the $2.1 million to the capital projects fund to assist funding of future projects.
What if…PA state property tax reform
- The Property Tax Independence Act proposes to eliminate property taxes and shift the significant burden of funding public schools onto other taxing mechanisms, including higher personal income taxes as well as a higher sales tax with an expanded base of what goods and services are subject to tax.
- Currently, there is no movement at the state level; however, past proposals have allowed school districts to continue to tax for outstanding debt.
What if…Charter School Reform and Vouchers
- Currently, there is no movement on charter school reform.
- Senate Bill 2 remains a high priority in the Senate. Under the bill, parents of students in low-achieving schools can receive funds in the form of Education Savings Accounts (ESA) to attend a participating nonpublic school and for other expenses. “Low-achieving” is defined as the lowest performing 15% of elementary and secondary public schools, based on PSSA and Keystone Exam scores. No schools in the Dover Area School District fall into the lowest performing 15% of schools.
What if…Washington Township
Timeline to date:
- July 17, 2012: Petition to transfer was filed.
- November 2, 2012: York County Court held a hearing on the petition.
- January 11, 2013: York County Court approved the petition and referred the petition to the Secretary of Education.
- July 2, 2014: PDE made a determination that the petition had educational merit.
- November 10, 2014: York County Court of Common Pleas issued a decree to create the Washington Township Independent School District and transferring the matter to the State Board of the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
- June 3-4, 2015: State Board Committee held a hearing in which the district and WTISD presented evidence against/for the transfer.
- September 17, 2015: State Board of Education disapproved the transfer of WTISD to Northern York County School District.
- December 16, 2016: Hearing at Commonwealth Court with respect to WTISD appeal in relation to procedural issues with the State Board’s process.
- January 2017: Commonwealth Court remained the process back to the State Board of Education.
- March 9, 2017: State Board of Education again denied the transfer application.
- March 12, 2017: WTISD requested a hearing from the State Board of Education.
- May 2017: The State Board of Education provided the reasons for denial of the transfer and appointed a hearing officer.
- October 2017: WTISD filed an application for a relief from Commonwealth Court.
- November 28, 2017: Commonwealth Court held a hearing to listen to argument.
- November 29, 2017: Commonwealth Court denied the application for relief.
- March 5, 2018: Scheduled pre-hearing conference.
- April 23-24, 2018: Scheduled hearing in front of appointed hearing officer.
- Preliminary review of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Code indicates that if the transfer is approved, Washington Township’s proportionate share of the project will follow WTISD.
- Currently, the district is employing three one-year teaching positions to deal with “bubble” grades. This need is reevaluated each year.
- The net effect (revenue less expenditures) to the district if the petition to transfer is approved is approximately ($2.9) million.
- The process continues and precedent provides insight.