Construction of the Greystone Elementary School is progressing on schedule and within budget, according to Mark Allen Groves, capital program manager at the West Chester Area School District (WCASD).
WCASD’s 11th elementary school, Greystone is located in West Goshen at the intersection of Route 100 and Greenhill Road. The almost 600 new homes currently under construction in the neighboring Greystone Estate prompted the new elementary school, in addition to high capacity in other West Chester schools.
After visiting the site Feb. 11, Groves said they are now starting on the cosmetic work. “We are doing good. We’ve got painters and ceiling guys in there. We’ve got the plumbing guys. The carpenters are putting up steel studs for drywall. Next week we’ve got five or six electricians in there . . . We still have to put on the stonework and the blockwork veneer on the outside of the building, but everything is up.”
He explained that the building is LEED sensitive but not LEED certified. “We use a lot of the LEED information to build our schools and the materials that we use. Most of it is all going to be sustainable for a minimum of 20 years.”
The 80,000 square foot project remained relatively unaffected by pandemic shutdowns. The school district broke ground on Dec. 3, 2019. When the pandemic began, construction was shut down for about 10 days before the governor noted that the initial lockdown did not include construction for school districts, Groves explained.
“Other than that, everything’s been going well. We haven’t had any COVID-19 cases there or anything.”
In Sept. of 2019, the district announced on its website that the WCASD Board of Directors approved construction bids from seven companies, totaling nearly $23.6 million. A completion deadline of August 2021 was proposed.
Thanks to the good weather in 2020, the project is expected to wrap up by July, said Groves. “We’re trying to ensure that all the contractors are done by July 15th so school district personnel can then get in there and set everything up, do what they need to do.”
“We are extremely excited about opening Greystone Elementary this coming school year! Construction is moving along nicely. Over the coming months, we’ll assemble our staff and faculty and continue our communications with families,” said Dr. Kevin Fagan, Greystone’s principal.
“Building the school itself is important, of course, but establishing our culture is paramount. As the principal, I am primarily interested in a school that our students love and empowers them to achieve their best! I can’t wait to get to work with everyone!” Fagan is bringing his 8-year experience as principal of West Chester East High School to Greystone Elementary.
The new elementary school, opening in the fall of 2021, will set in motion redistricting in West Chester’s elementary and high schools. A little under 600 students will transfer to Greystone Elementary, divided between 24 classrooms and six grades.