The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 31, 2010

Central Cambria set to break ground for new middle school

Sandra K. Reabuck
The Tribune-Democrat

EBENSBURG — Ground will be broken at 10 a.m. Wednesday for the construction of Central Cambria School District’s controversial new $6.8 million middle school at the district’s campus off Route 422 in Cambria Township.

School board members, local public officials and the public have been invited to attend what school Superintendent Vincent DiLeo said will be an informal ceremony with no prepared speeches.

Then in the afternoon at

1:30 another ground breaking will be held at the Jackson Elementary School, where a $1.8-million multipurpose room addition will be built.

Construction on both projects will begin June 9, the day after classes end in the district. Both projects are to be completed by the time school opens in the fall of 2011, DiLeo said.

The middle school will be a two-story annex to the high school and will be constructed in a parking lot by the high school auditorium.

Plans to build the school were opposed by many parents and residents, who expressed concerns about having the middle school youngsters close to the high school students. Many also didn’t want to see the closing of the existing middle school in Ebensburg Borough.

But in January, the school board, on a 5-3 vote, decided to seek bids for the middle school addition to the high school.

The two-story addition will house students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades, DiLeo said.

There will be some sharing of “common areas and services,” such as the cafeteria, computer labs and nursing services.

However, a divider will separate the middle schoolers from the high school students in the cafeteria, and lunch times will be staggered, he said.

At the Jackson Elementary School, the multipurpose addition will be used for gym classes and assemblies.

The $1.8 million project includes an elevator ,in order to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, the moving of two oil tanks and a new playground area, DiLeo said.

Kim McDermott, middle school principal, and Tricia Murin, Jackson principal, will be taking photos of the construction and posting them on the school’s website to make it easier for parents to see the progress of the work, DiLeo said.