Touring the New Building

Olivia Zhang, staff writer

On Saturday, April 7th, State High was opened to the community for tours of the new building. Since students moved from the old buildings to the new building in January, it was the first time the new one was opened up to the community.

Planning and preparing for the new building took a long time for the district to negotiate with community members. The State College Area School District Board of Directors held regularly scheduled meetings for discussions. 6,751 surveys were mailed to community members for public advice on the concept and location of the new building, as well as the amount of taxes the public was willing to invest, and the pros and cons of the project.

As a result, 1,857 surveys were returned back, and 1,667 were considered registered voters. 91% of the voters thought it was important to upgrade the high school building, and 55 % believed it was acceptable to invest up to $100 million or more for the building. The two main positive factors were “student safety and security” and “lowering long term operational cost.” (According to SCASD data)     

Community members helped the board of directors to narrow down the decision of the new building. The final decision also depended on the Spring 2014 voting referendum held for the community.

State High was opened from 10 to 12 in the morning. Many community members attended to see the building. It was a chance for parents to see the building where their children learn and spend their days. Little Lion Ambassadors were assigned to groups and led tours. All school administrators were there to answer questions from the community. “The point was for them to be able to come in and see what their tax dollars have been spent on, so that they could see is incredible building and what all we can do for learning for kids,” Mrs.Pechtold, associate principal, said.

The new building has a lot of differences from the old buildings. Even though there are still parts of construction that haven’t finished yet, the abundance of food choices in the cafeteria, open spaces at the end of each hall, and new technical equipment were all available for the community to see.  

The tour was well-attended and the school was surprised by the number of people that came in. “Put it this way, when I was standing at the hall at any given time, it looked like it does when all the students are here,” Mrs.Pechtold said.