New aquatics center designs presented
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Eagle Staff Writer
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December 6, 2017
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JACKSON TWP — The design for a possible new aquatics center for Seneca Valley School District is going swimmingly.

Architecture firm IKM presented results from three fall workshops with its school design advisory team at a public meeting Thursday night at the senior high school.

The team of about 20 included swim team parents, teachers, administrators, a school board member, students and community members. They met Oct. 26, Nov. 9 and Thursday and another meeting is scheduled Thursday.

Matt Hansen, an IKM project manager, said they hope to wrap up the advisory meetings in mid-December and proceed with the schematic design. If the process continues smoothly, construction could begin around December 2018, Hansen said.

“That’s certainly an aggressive schedule,” Hansen said. “And something we’ll be refining as we go along.”

IKM was hired in August to explore design possibilities and costs for building a new natatorium or renovating the current pool that is more than 50 years old. The school board has not committed yet to either option.

The advisory team discussed possible locations for the new aquatics facility, the importance of sustainable design and priorities and guiding principles for the design.

Connor Quiggle, a senior and captain of the boys swim team, walked the audience through the possible locations the team established on the secondary campus — at the front of the senior high school building near the main entrance; between the intermediate and senior high schools; and between the intermediate and middle schools.

The first location at the front of the campus would be a centerpiece for the school, but it would be limited on size due to the proximity to roads and the existing senior high school building. It also would not allow for a lot of natural light.

The second location between the high schools would connect the buildings, be highly visible when people enter the campus, but would not be accessible from the middle school. The road between the schools would be eliminated.

The third location would connect the middle school and intermediate high school and be positioned well with the district’s other athletic fields and facilities. However it would not be visible from the rest of campus.

Allison Wertz, an IKM project manager, said the team wants the building to be LEED certified.

Hansen said they talked about issues of traffic, connecting buildings and honoring the school’s history. Priorities set by the groups focus on high-technology, the pool size, deck space and locker room size, water, air and lighting quality and maximizing seating.

Hansen said upcoming discussions would focus on finances “because we need to make sure we’re living within our means.”