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Quakertown breaks ground on $27 million Neidig Elementary School expansion

Neidig Elementary School students gathered right outside their school Wednesday morning and sat patiently on a patch of grass that soon will sprout classrooms. The students watched as nine of their peers donned white hard hats and excitedly picked up shovels. Teachers stood nearby, ready to help, as the students dug into a line of piled soil in a groundbreaking for the school renovation project that will be completed for the 2020-21 school year.The 15-month-long project will nearly double the size of the 1950s-era building, to 85,000 square feet. Students will be temporarily displaced, attending school at Tohickon Valley Elementary School, which was closed by the Quakertown Community School District last year. This expansion will allow for 600 students, 200 more than Neidig has now, and it will modernize the K-5 facility on North Penrose Street with such amenities as air conditioning in all classrooms.“I think that the renovation is going to be great for our school students and staff,” said third-grader Jace Walsh. (Amy Shortell / The Morning Call/)“I’m really excited for the change that is coming,” third grader Jace Walsh said. “I think that the renovation is going to be great for our school students and staff.”Jace and Keira Tenney spoke at the ceremony, representing their class. The current third grade class will be the first fifth grade class to graduate from the newly renovated Neidig. Current fourth and fifth grade students will finish out their primary school years at Tohickon Valley.“I’m excited but also nervous not knowing where my classrooms are,” Keira said.The school will be expanded with a two-story classroom wing, as well as a separate cafeteria and gym (they share a room now), and music and art classrooms. Construction will start when the school year ends.“It’s going to look different but it’s going to be a great-looking school,” said Steaven Klein, school board president. “It’s going to be nicer. It’s going to be bigger.”The project, four years in the making, is expected to cost the district $27 million.“The decision to renovate Neidig was a proactive step to keep our facilities in great condition,” Kalyn Mitchell, Facilities Committee chairwoman, said. “We had to begin with the end in mind and make decisions early that would set us up for success.”The design accommodates students, staff and parents, she said.Teachers offered a significant amount of input into what the school should look like, Klein added.Addressing the students, he said, “This is part of the vision that we have at Quakertown as far as getting the schools in better shape for those that need it. And then also, making it better for you guys, so you have a nicer school.”Asked what she’s looking forward to, Keira said, “I’m most excited about air conditioning. It’s really hot in the classrooms.”Groundbreaking !— Ashley Stalnecker (@Ashley_Stal) May 29, 2019
Source: Morningcall

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