New school timetable: Sept. 2016
Construction on new elementary school to begin next March: School officials work to clear permits
An artist's rendition of the new elemetary school.
A map showing the new school's location.
Behind the sign for the Veterans Park, adjacent to Airport Park and looking toward Port Jervis, is the field where the new Delaware Valley Elementary School will be built. (Photo by Anya Tikka)
This photo of the current elementary school shows its irregular shape. (Photo by Anya Tikka)
“We want to be part of community, do what we can to keep people happy. They want us to have the school here. We just need to work out some of the details.”
By Anya Tikka
WESTFALL — Construction of the new Delaware Valley Elementary School will start next March, 2015, with plans to hold classes there starting in September 2016, said Marvin Eversdyke, the district's director of building and grounds.
The school district has already approved all the plans, but 35 permits must be cleared before the district can purchase the property selected for site and proceed with construction.
The new building will be located on the empty field behind the Airport Park, with the river on the right looking toward Port Jervis.
“We’re purchasing the property,” Eversdyke said.
The school had at first planned to build on land the district already owns, toward the Santos Farm near Route 6. But many residents of the district and Milford Borough objected to the hazard they felt was presented by the gas line running through the property.
“We have potential buyer for a higher a price for that property than the property we’re buying from Mrs. Wiese, the owner of the new site,” Eversdyke said.
An archeological study is among the list of studies that still need to be completed. And the district still needs to comply with requirements from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Pike County Conservation District, the Matamoras planning commission, and the state.
There are requirements related to the number of acres needed for an elementary school, which are factored based on the district's population. The playground and the building have to meet specifications. The Department of Environmental Protection has to approve the new septic system before it can be installed.
“We’re about half way through the permitting process,” said Eversdyke. “There are always issues, but we’re pretty much on the timetable.”
'Why are we doing this?'
The team meeting to tackle the requirements includes Eversdyke, architect Don Flynn from Burkavage Design Associates, civil engineer Jeff Jerome from Greenman-Pederson, district Superintendent John Bell, and business manager Bill Hessling.
Eversdyke reviewed the reasons the new building is needed.
“Why are we doing this?" he asked. "This building is very old, built in the '50s. The rooms are irregular shape, the cafeteria is too small, the building has wings — five wings going each way — and the building is kind of oblong, not rectangular."
He said about the current school that "mechanically it’s fine (but) needs a new roof, there’s no AC, and it needs additional electrical supply, and the plumbing leaks in the walls. Cosmetically it looks fine. We keep it up. The fixtures, the class room shapes and sizes, the kitchen is very small — it’s just outdated. There are no safety issues though, because we repair whatever needs to be repaired in terms of safety and security.”
Eversdyke said the team wants "to be part of the community, do what we can to keep people happy.
"They want us to have the school here," he continued. "We just need to work out some of the details.”
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