2780 West Fourth Street Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701
The transformation of Williamsport Area High School included a mixture of educational enhancements, deferred maintenance, and energy saving upgrades. Prioritized upgrades throughout the Facility were made possible with QSCB Funding. The facility was state-of-the-art when it opened in 1972, with the 1999 addition of a Vocational Technical wing, by Vern McKissick, a key feature to enhance its 21st century education pedagogy. The facility was originally built for a student capacity of nearly 3,000 pupils but the student population had dwindled to around 1,600. Educational and curriculum upgrades were undertaken to maximize the building’s classroom usage. The District’s budget constraints had led to an outdated facility in need of maintenance and upgrades, which had multiplied over the years. In the summer of 2011, the WASD Board was advised that the application materials prepared and submitted by McKissick Associates Architects to the PA Department of Education led to an award of $35.3 million of low interest QSCB funding. Therefore, the project provided the District in excess of $17,000,000 in interest savings over the life of the bond issue compared to traditional financing sources. The District then retained McKissick Associates as the design professional for the project. Vern McKissick had worked with the District on over 30 projects since 1989, including three District-wide feasibility studies. Prior evaluations revealed the total cost upgrades required at the building were in the range of $63.5 million. With that in mind, McKissick Architects crafted a carefully balanced project, composed of two project phases: the initial PlanCon/ESCO hybrid project (completed in 2014, it fell within the three year window required by the federal stimulus program), and the second phase to be undertaken in 2019-20 when preexisting School District debt will have been paid down, making funds available to complete the remaining portions of the project.