The School District of Lancaster and the Lancaster Recreation Commission are considering exchanging their adjacent properties.
The Lancaster Rec Center, 525 Fairview Ave., sits next to Price Elementary School at 615 Fairview Ave. The Rec says it is out of space, and that renovating and moving into Price would give it the elbow room it needs. The school building is a little more than double the size of the Rec building.
The school district, meanwhile, has been planning to build a replacement for Price and says the Rec Center’s location would be advantageous for traffic flow and parking. It would tear down the existing Rec Center and build a new school building from scratch.
The city of Lancaster owns the Rec Center property. The city is supportive of the idea, Mayor Danene said, though many questions regarding the financial, legal and logistical details remain to be worked through.
If things move forward, Lancaster Rec would supervise the renovation of Price, which would be dubbed the Rec Technology and Education Center, or RecTEC.
It would increase the Rec’s childcare capacity to more than 900, helping to ease what has become an acute crisis.
“Our economy in Lancaster will not work without childcare,” Rec Executive Director Heather Dighe told City Council on Tuesday.
RecTEC would also offer expanded senior services, a STEM and art laboratory, performing arts rooms, a multipurpose gymnasium and a rock-climbing wall. There would be flexible programming space that partner agencies could use.
City Council is to vote later this month to award the Rec $750,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds, part of $5 million proposed for 11 community facility projects. The $750,000 would go toward the estimated $12 million cost of the RecTEC conversion.
SDL, meanwhile, envisions moving Price’s students and staff to the former Buchanan Elementary School during construction. The new Price school would be ready by spring 2025, and is budgeted at $32.5 million, according to LNP.