DALLAS TOWNSHIP -- There’s a new intermediate school on its way to the Dallas School District in Luzerne County. This comes after the zoning board unanimously approved the district’s plan for the building.
School officials said the current Dallas Elementary School has outlived its useful life. Now, school officials said it is time for a new building and a change in what grades go to what schools.
The current Dallas Elementary School is draped with a blue tarp after a roof repair project. Its days serving students in the Back Mountain are numbered because soon it will be replaced.
Taxpayer John Martin was happy to hear it.
“If it's in disarray, it's probably more cost-effective to build a new school than to keep repairing it,” Martin said.
In May, the Dallas School Board approved taking out a $16 million loan to build the intermediate school. Taxes were raised last year and school officials said that money will make the payments over time.
However, school officials still needed approval from the zoning board to go ahead with the project.
“What happened was it's an A1 zoning district, and schools are not allowed in an A1 zoning district. So that's why they had to come in for a special exception in front of the zoning hearing board,” Dallas Township Zoning and Coding Enforcement Officer Carl Alber said.
The new Dallas Intermediate School will be built where the soccer fields are now, right next to Wycallis Elementary.
Once it is demolished, the soccer fields will be moved to where the current Dallas Elementary School stands.
School officials said kindergarten through second grade students will be sent to Wycallis and third through fifth graders will study at the intermediate school.
Superintendent Thomas Duffy said the intermediate school will have some upgrades.
“The new building is going to be a conservative approach. However, the media center is going to be innovative. We're certainly going to have space for STEM programming,” Duffy said.
Taxpayer Gary Frantz said he hopes these improvements will help students later in life.
“Kids have to learn young because when they get old they can get a nice job and this a beautiful area to live in. There are lots of job opportunities here,” Frantz said.
Construction is set to begin in May of next year and wrap up by the Fall of 2019.