Brockway Area School Board Estimates Cost of New Building | New

BROCKWAY – The Brockway Area School Board has analyzed the costs of the new building that will be built between the secondary school and the elementary school, attached to the existing multipurpose building.

The new project is a 7,700 square foot metal building with a split-face brick accent. This design harmonizes with the existing buildings and the new construction requires the removal of the tennis courts, which will be moved to North Street. Playing surface designs inside the building include lines for basketball, volleyball, and possibly pickleball. The total cost of the building is $1,882,518.

Superintendent Jeff Vizza, in consultation with the school board, said the building will not add a financial burden to ratepayers in the district.

“Over the years, our school district has been extremely responsible in allocating financial resources,” Vizza said. “The school district’s philosophy has always been to do what is best for our students. When coaches, parents and students shared their concerns about the lack of training facilities for all of our student-athletes, the board felt compelled to find a solution to the problem.

Vizza said the lack of training facilities delayed the start times of sports training, which meant that students could return home after training at 10 p.m. The lack of practice space could also put Brockway sports teams at a disadvantage as they might not be able to practice as often as their rivals.

When the project was proposed in early 2022, Vizza invited the community to come to school board meetings to provide feedback and voice concerns. No community members were present before the building was approved at the September school board meeting.

Brockway obtains a loan of $900,000 to pay for the building, with the remainder coming from the district’s fund balance. Vizza said there are no plans to increase community taxes due to the building and he hopes the community will use the facilities during the summer months.

“Air conditioning will be included for teams that need to start training in the summer months,” Vizza said. “It will also allow community events, such as the 4th of July, to use the building and other school activities.”

Currently, primary and secondary school gymnasiums, as well as libraries and many classrooms, are not air-conditioned, highlighting the need for summer practice facilities. Vizza said the district maintenance department is looking at ways to improve the schools, adding that this new building will not influence any of those plans.

“The school district’s maintenance department has always had a forward-looking five-year plan that deals with various projects,” Vizza said. “It also includes facility upgrades such as LED lighting, converting boilers to natural gas and expanding air conditioning to other parts of our facilities. The maintenance department will track the financial benefits resulting from their cost-effective upgrades, paving the way for future initiatives. This project will have no negative impact on these plans.

Vizza highlighted partnerships with Peter Varischetti and the Brockway Revitalization Group, which have resulted in multiple improvements to the neighborhood, including new grass, bleachers and football field lighting. The district also grassed the softball and baseball diamonds.

“Hopefully, these improvements will allow more students to participate in extracurricular activities, providing a more positive and meaningful learning experience,” he said.

Once construction begins, the district will lay out its plan for the building, eventually opening it up to the community.

“The community at large will be encouraged to use the new facility once the school district establishes policies around district needs, Vizza said.

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