Chester County Press : Page 7

Learn about native landscaping

Attend the White Clay Wild and Scenic River meeting on April 10, 7 p.m. and learn how you can have a garden that looks beautiful, attracts birds and butterflies, and helps to protect our drinking water resources. Janice Reissig, Habitat Steward with the Backyard Habitat program at the Delaware Nature Society, will describe the native landscape design assistance that Habitat Stewards offer to homeowners. The business meeting will follow. Hear updates on the most recent land conservation activities, educational outreach and other work to improve and protect the White Clay Watershed. <br /> <br /> The meeting is free and located at the Judge Morris Estate, White Clay Creek State Park. To view a map and directions, and the full agenda see www.whiteclay.org or contact Linda Stapleford, River Administrator, 302-731-1756, riveradministrator@whiteclay.org.

UCFSD public meeting will focus on financing building project

Maggie Horgan

On Monday, April 9, there will be a public meeting held in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District’s high school LGI room, at 750 Unionville Road, regarding the upcoming building projects planned for the district. <br /> <br /> Hosted by the administration’s Finance Committee, the focus of the meeting will be on the potential funding options and resources available to the district to cover the projects’ cost, once the building plans have been approved. <br /> <br /> MM Architects, the firm hired by the district last summer, have drawn up preliminary plans for the Unionville High School and Charles F. Patton Middle School. Major points of the firm’s suggestions include the construction of a new auditorium, large enough for 1200 people (to replace the present one that seats barely 800); a new gymnasium to accommodate 800 people; three synthetic turf athletic fields; five natural turf fields; two new running tracks (one at each school); and additional baseball fields and softball fields and tennis courts. Additional classroom construction and upgrades to existing interior facilities are also in the recommendations. <br /> <br /> The district administration building would remain at the high school under the firm’s plan. <br /> <br /> Artificial turf was suggested for some of the fields because they are more durable than natural fields, may be utilized more frequently, and different types of sports can share the same space than on natural fields.. MM has suggested that the turf fields could help relieve or significantly delay the problem of field deterioration. <br /> <br /> The total cost of MM Architect’s recommended project would be $69,191,193. <br /> <br /> Alterations to the firm’s plan have already been recommended by the school board, in an effort to cut unnecessary spending. <br /> <br /> These include not upgrading the athletic tracks at each school, and implementing a more costeffective water retention basin than the firm recommended. <br /> <br /> The total project cost with these changes would be 67,137,595, saving the district more than $2 million, compared to MM’s proposal. <br /> <br /> Ultimately, in accordance with Act I legislation, voters will be asked on the November ballot to approve the overall building project for the Unionville High School and Charles Patton Middle School. Facilities Committee Chairman and School Board Vice President Bruce Swayze said that if there is voter support for the project, it will go to bid shortly after the fall election, and construction could begin by early summer of 2008. The school district administration hopes to have the project plans refined by the end of this month. Formal drawings must be completed by the engineers, which must be proved by the PDE. <br /> <br /> As discussion and planning for the project continue, members of the community are encouraged to share their opinions and suggestions. Besides attending the Finance Committee meeting on April 9, they may do this by sending e-mails to uhsbuild@ ucfsd.org, or by attending school board meetings—the next one is on Monday, April 16, at 7:30 <br /> <br /> p. m. in the LGI room of the high school. <br /> <br /> To learn more about Unionville- Chadds Ford School District’s construction project, please visit www.ucfsd.org.

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