On May 4, 2017, KCBA Architects Principal Michael Kelly joined a number of other Pennsylvania public school district officials and consultants in testifying at a public hearing at the East Penn School District Administration building in Emmaus. Held by the PA Public School Building Construction and Reconstruction Advisory Committee, the hearing is one in a series related to the state’s reimbursement program for school districts for costs associated with school facility renovation and construction. The program, known as PlanCon, is currently suspended while the committee gathers information in order to make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly related to state support of school construction.
Drawn from many years of experience in the analysis, planning, and design of Pennsylvania public school buildings, Kelly’s testimony demonstrated the urgent need for the state government to continue allocating resources for school construction. During his remarks, he provided statistics on the age and condition of Pennsylvania’s public school building inventory, offered specific examples of inadequate security equipment/protocols and educational conditions in current school buildings, contrasted former eras of education against modern instructional practices and the facility qualities necessary to support them, and discussed the challenges and insufficiencies associated with a potential state-wide prototype school building solution.
The current PlanCon moratorium is set to expire on June 30, 2017.