Punxsutawney School District Getting Ready to Have All Students on One Campus

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – The much anticipated, much decried – depending on what side of the debate you were on – changes in the Punxsutawney School District are just a month away.

According to Superintendent Thomas Lesniewski, things are on schedule for bringing all of the district’s students to one campus where the high school and former middle school, now elementary school, are located.

“We are going from six elementary schools to just one,” Lesniewski said. “The middle school building will now house kindergarten through sixth grade and the high school seventh through 12th grade (the high school previous housed eighth through 12th).”

Because of the massive change and the construction needed to accommodate the changes, Punxsutawney will not start school this year until September 10, nearly two weeks after most of the surrounding area.

“We are starting September 10 because we want to make sure everything is in place,” Lesniewski said. “We had to make physical modifications on the buildings. Right now, everything is on time, and we are looking forward to go.”

Lesniewski said the process has gone “great” so far.

“There are always bumps in the road,” Lesniewski said. “But, the board had a great vision on what they wanted to see. We are excited about (September 10). We have been working on this for over a year now. It is where it is supposed to be right now. It might not be that way tomorrow, but it is in good shape right now. We will wait and see what the next day brings.”

Lesniewski described the construction at the high school as “almost done,” and the construction at the elementary school as “almost to the point where it is almost done.”

There is also ongoing construction at the old West End Elementary School building which will now house the district’s central office including Lesniewski’s office.

“They are just starting here,” Lesniewski said from West End. “This building won’t be ready until mid-November, but there are no students here, just adults and offices.”

With the modifications at the school, the district has taken to opportunity to update its security at the school as well.

“There will only be a couple of main entrances at the high school,” Lesniewski said. “The board is discussing more updated security as well, and in the next few meetings, I believe they will be discussing what to implement and what not to implement. We are constantly moving forward to make our buildings safer.”

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