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Chester County Press

Board gives green light to charter school's new learning center

07/17/2013 10:59AM ● By Acl

The10,800 square-foot Green STEM Center at the Avon Grove Charter School will include seven classrooms, instructional spaces and laboratories.

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer 

At its July 10 meeting, the London Grove Board of Supervisors approved a preliminary development plan and four waivers for the construction of a new learning center on the campus of the Avon Grove Charter School in West Grove.

Representing the school, Joseph Riper, an attorney with the firm of Riley, Riper, Hollin & Colagreco, discussed the reasons for the waivers with the board, which included acting on the waivers, the development of a stormwater management basin on the campus, the need to submit a conservation plan, and the shortening of a work entrance near a modular unit from 100 feet to 50 feet.

The school's 10,800 square-foot Green STEM Center will include seven classrooms,  instructional spaces and laboratories designed to promote engaging, hands-on experimentation and exploration. “STEM” stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics –  key skill areas which everyone from President Obama to leaders of the nation’s largest and most successful companies have identified as key to continued economic success. As a result, many schools have been working to integrate STEM elements across the curriculum.

The new building will be equipped with flat-screen display systems, computers, storage centers, and will set the stage for innovation.   It will also feature two oversized labs specifically structured to enable students to design models, test scientific equipment and conduct experiments. 

“For over a decade, AGCS has championed environmental and sustainability education and has received awards and widespread recognition for its many ‘green’ accomplishments,” said Dr. Kevin Brady, AGCS Head-of-School. “The new Green STEM Center will enable students to apply STEM strategies to small-scale environmental challenges and come up with new and innovative solutions. It will also serve as a kind of ‘launching pad’ for greater school wide STEM immersion across the curriculum.”

“We are extremely grateful to London Grove Township for their assistance in making the project a reality.  The zoning board, supervisors, and township staff have been tremendously helpful throughout the planning and implementation stages of this project,” added Donna Archer, AGCS Business Manager.

In addition to the new Green STEM Center, grants from the Dockstader Foundation and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection have enabled AGCS to add a 800-square-foot “field station,” which will provide students with the ability to apply STEM skills within the school’s sprawling 23-acre “conservation area.”

In other township business, Inniscrone Golf Course Manager Tom Bolko reported that the course saw a revenue of $128,000 for June, a 26 percent increase in revenue during June in comparison to June of last year, when the course took in $101,000 in revenue for the month.

The township's financial picture stood at $175,000 in revenue for the month of June, slightly less than May, while expenditures during that time were $202,000.

After lengthy discussion, the Board gave approval to five waiver requests from the Delchester Developers, LP, for property they are developing along East Baltimore Pike, adjacent to the London Grove Village Shopping Center near Lake Road. The proposal, currently before the Board, calls for a two-and-a half to three-acre site that will include a 6,200 square-foot restaurant/retail site, and a bank, planned to be 2,900-foot in size. Requesting that project be re-zoned from an industrial zone to an industrial-commercial area, Michael Gill of Delchester Developers, LP introduced a conceptual scale for the project, which also called for a car wash to be included on the site, full access to East Baltimore Pike, areas to be used for stormwater management, and green areas.  Gill said that Delchester Developers, LP has an application before the township's Zoning Commission, but have not taken any *gformal steps*h on the project yet.