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Chester County Press

U-CF School Board sees details of improvements at high school and middle school

06/12/2018 10:06AM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board had a marathon meeting on June 11, during which plans were presented on technology upgrades, the success of the athletic department, and a student wellness initiative. But the most far-reaching report dealt with a 10-year plan to improve traffic flow around Unionville High School and Patton Middle School.

A representative from K&W, a site design firm based in Harrisburg, showed illustrations of proposed changes to the campus, including a new access drive and considerable upgrades to the athletic fields. The major changes are proposed for the high school/middle school campus, as well as Unionville Elementary School, chiefly because those schools have the most unused open space to work with.

One of the most noticeable changes would be a central road that would run between the middle school and high school, where the tennis courts are currently located. The roadway would allow cars to line up during peak hours, without backing up into the parking areas, keeping pedestrians away from traffic.

There would also be a new parking lot built with 147 spaces. The plan calls for moving the tennis courts and building a covered pavilion for use in case of inclement weather. A large fieldhouse is also proposed, providing restrooms and concessions for visitors, as well as team rooms and storage. The fieldhouse would hold turf fields that would be marked for a wide variety of sports, including baseball and softball, so teams could practice longer hours when the weather is too cold or too wet for outside practice.

The complex of fields and the fieldhouse could be centralized and fenced in to restrict and monitor access. The current grass field would be maintained. A walking trail along the edge of the complex would be open to the public in the evenings and on weekends, and would fit into a broader regional trail system.

Changes and suggestions are being made, and K&W will present a completed master plan to the board in August or September. Cost estimates for each phase of the project will be broken out so that, over the next decade, the board can approve each change as part of their annual budgets.

At the beginning of the meeting, district superintendent John Sanville mentioned the administration's list of goals for 2018-2019, which will be formally reviewed by the board in August. The goals include a security audit next year, completing the first phase of a computer network upgrade, and creating a student-school board forum to link the board directly to student input.

In terms of the district's technology improvements, priorities include continuing the rollout of Chromebook devices to students, expanding the bandwidth of the district's network, replacing some aging classroom computer equipment and other improvements. The board is looking at a cost of about $300,000 each year for the Chromebook rollout, and $431,000 for network and bandwidth upgrages in 2018-2019, and $95,000 for following years.

At the board's June 18 meeting, they will vote to approve the final budget for 2018-19. The millage rate in Chester County will be 28.51 mills, an increase of 0.35 percent; and in Delaware County, the millage rate will be 25.15 mills, an increase of 6.43 percent. The weighted average is a 1.56 percent increase. Total revenues will be $87,093,540, and total expenditures are expected to be $87,103,529. The budget is posted for public inspection at www.ucfsd.org.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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