Is Pottsgrove High Design Missing One Small Detail?

SANATOGA PA – Leave it to a former contractor to find what he thinks was clearly missed by architects for the Pottsgrove High School renovation project.

20140507-PublicBathrooms-GoogleImagesLower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Vice President Stephen Klotz, who once owned a construction business, expressed concern to Pottsgrove School District representatives that bathrooms to serve a proposed artificial turf field installation were left out of the final land development plan he and his colleagues approved during the board’s Monday (May 5, 2014) meeting.

They’re “one of the things I noticed were missing,” Klotz said before the unanimous board vote at the township municipal building on Buchert Road.

Neither Pottsgrove representatives attending the meeting, or members of KCBA Architects who helped draw up the plan, committed to revisit it or discuss adding bathrooms, and commissioners did not require them as part of the plan’s acceptance.

Earlier in the session, however, both Klotz and commissioner James Kaiser were vocal about the board’s desire to ensure the new turf field – which is part of Pottsgrove’s more than $28 million high school reconstruction – be made available for community use. They tied that request to commissioners’ willingness to waive half of the almost $440,000 in fees the township would normally charge the district for permits related to the project.

Minutes later, Klotz suggested public bathrooms located in the vicinity of the field would be appropriate if it was used when the school was closed. The facilities could be built beneath bleachers at the side of the field, he added.

Klotz, who said he spent a significant amount of time “thoroughly reading” the plans before the board vote, had other comments on them too.

He was pleased by the addition of some parking spaces to the Kauffman Road property overall, but questioned architects about the flow of traffic near the south entrance of the high school’s proposed new gymnasium.

During busy times or sports events, Klotz noted, vehicles dropping passengers off at the doors had only two ways to exit: around the rear (west side) of the school, or by circling the parking lot in front of the gym. Under a variety of circumstances, he said, either could cause “the potential for confusion” or problems.

Klotz also questioned the use of extended metal panels as a decorative element on the gym’s exterior facade. The maroon-colored panels are likely to fade over time, he said; why not use a different shade of brick instead?, he asked KCBA.

Two reasons, the architects replied. First, the panels’ color intensity is guaranteed for 30 years, they said, for which the manufacturer could be held accountable. And second, unlike brick, they explained the panels would be positioned several inches away from the facade itself to provide shade for the gym’s windows as an energy conservation measure.

The district has tentatively won a $2 million state grant to help pay for the reconstruction if it can meet high energy-efficiency standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ May 5 meeting):

Related (to Pottsgrove High reconstruction):

Photo from Google Images

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