Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley Academy plans temporary modular classrooms

The Lehigh Valley Academy School is seeking to erect temporary classrooms at its facility in Hanover Township in Northampton County.

During a hearing Tuesday night before the board of supervisors, school officials said that curriculum and programming necessitated the expansion. The temporary modular classrooms would be built in the parking lot adjacent to 1650 Valley Center Parkway. The proposed temporary units would accommodate 10 classrooms and house about 250 students total or 25 in each room, said Holly Parkinson, Academy director of operations. Students in grades seven through 12 would occupy the buildings, although they would not be in the buildings all day.

The temporary modular classrooms would be placed on the pavement, and would occupy about 50 parking spaces. Officials told supervisors the classrooms will be leased and will be removed when no longer needed. Parkinson said this would be an interim measure, as the school anticipates occupying the entire 1660 Parkway building by 2024.

Currently the building is occupied by other tenants.

In an effort to ease potential traffic congestion, school officials said bus staging for drop-off and pick-up of students would not change. During a typical day, the school receives 37 buses from 15 school districts, according to Parkinson. Dismissal occurs around 3:20 p.m.

The Academy's charter allows it up to instruct about 1,950 students. Currently the school has about 1,700 students. The new additional students would not exceed the charter, according to Parkinson. The school has students from 17 different districts in the Lehigh Valley. The majority of the Academy's students -- about 60 percent -- come from the Bethlehem Area School District. The Allentown School District is the second highest. The facility opened its doors in 2002.

In other news, supervisors approved an ordinance to restrict vehicle parking in the front yard of a residential home by a 4-1 vote.

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