Avon Grove receives $1.3 million in state funding for new high school project
● By Steven Hoffman
The Avon Grove School District is in the process of designing a new, state-of-the-art high school that will be built on the Sunnyside Road site. The state recently announced that Avon Grove will receive more than $1.3 million in funding to construct the LEED Gold-certified building.
State Sen. Andrew Dinniman, who serves as the minority chair of the State Senate Education Committee, announced the funding last week. The funds are administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s High-Performance Building Program. The Commonwealth Finance Authority approved the funds on March 26.
Dinniman said, “Environmentally friendly and sustainable school buildings are better for both the environment and for taxpayers’ bottom lines. These funds will support the construction of a new state-of-the-art LEED-certified high school. I look forward to its completion for Avon Grove students and families.”
Avon Grove officials are developing plans for the construction of a new, 305,000 square-foot high school. The project will include an efficient thermal building envelope, efficient LED lighting systems with daylight sensors, an energy efficient and individually controlled HVAC system, and a 450kw photovoltaic solar array. The project will reduce energy usage by 1,235,117kwh, representing a 32.2 percent deduction from grid electricity. In addition, natural gas usage and water consumption will be reduced significantly for a savings of more than 16 percent and more than 31 percent, respectively.
Alternative and Clean Energy Program funds will be used to help offset the costs associated with the construction of the new school, including foundations, structural steel, concrete, roofing, wall assemblies, finishes, plumbing systems, HVAC systems, and other considerations, such as food service and similar areas.
Avon Grove School District superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese expressed gratitude that the high school project was approved for this funding.
“The Avon Grove School District is very excited and pleased that the grant review board has awarded the Avon Grove School District $1.368 million in ACE grant funds for our high school project,” Marchese said. “We appreciate the selection committee’s confidence in the district’s grant submission to present us with such a substantial award. The school district is thankful for everyone’s positive contributions during the application process, and the district is enthusiastic about the building project and how these funds will achieve LEED certification.”
To go along with the construction of a new high school, the school district is renovating the current high school into a middle school for grades 6 through 8.