During its meeting on Feb. 7, the Middletown Township board of supervisors unanimously approved construction of a brand new elementary school, to be part of the Neshaminy School District. It will be situated on the same campus as Maple Point Middle School, located at 2250 Langhorne-Yardley Road in Langhorne.
Superintendent Dr. Rob McGee explained the school board’s current process of analyzing the buildings in each of the district’s areas – Lower Southampton, Langhorne and Levittown – and their respective renovation needs. When looking at Pearl S. Buck Elementary School, which McGee said opened in 1968, it would cost almost $26 million to update it in terms of HVAC, technology and education. Instead, the Neshaminy administration and board thought it most cost-effective to construct a fresh learning environment.
The project, which Spiezle Architectural Group’s Scott Downie shared will be 119,000 square feet and two stories, is modeled off Tawanka Elementary School, which opened in Langhorne a few years ago. There will be separate locations for buses and cars, a connection between the new building and Maple Point, designated learning communities for each grade level and cost-effective materials for flooring and roofing. It’s expected to be completed by September 2023 and hold about 800 students.
A number of Maple Point parents and nearby residents in attendance at the meeting were adamantly opposed to the new school, fearing that it will cause a significant increase in traffic. McGee countered that the design of the campus allows queue lines to form within it, rather than on the surrounding streets. Additionally, the arrival times of the two schools would be staggered by one hour in the morning, and 30 minutes in the afternoon for dismissal.
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