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Middletown student gives DeMolay keynote address

Master Councilor Timothy Nevil, a Middletown resident starting his sophomore year of high school, was the keynote speaker for the closing session of the DeMolay Key Man Conference, held July 31-Aug. 6 at the Masonic Conference Center Patton Campus in Elizabethtown.8 31 demolay tonedTimothy Nevil

Nevil was one of nine members of Elizabethtown Chapter, Order of DeMolay, to attend the conference. He also was enrolled in the Interpersonal Development Department.

The teen was selected to give the speech on the basis of the leadership he exhibited throughout the week; his attitude and the respect he showed for the other Key Men and the volunteer staff; his overall embodiment of the tenets of DeMolay including courtesy, patriotism, and cleanness in thought, word and deed; and comradeship toward the other DeMolays.

More than 100 DeMolays from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Virginia, and the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Ontario, attended the weeklong DeMolay leadership training conference. DeMolay members learned leadership skills by doing, and they selected a number of personal goals to prepare them for future service to the organization as well as life in general.

Elizabethtown Chapter, Order of DeMolay, is a fraternal organization for young men between the ages of 12 and 21 years of age that teaches the principles of good citizenship, fraternalism and leadership. For more information about Elizabethtown DeMolay, contact chapter adviser Jesse Spence at 209-0843 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 15:09

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Not too cool for new school

GirlsEating WEBMckenzie Coble, Jessica Knisely and Keely Lombardi enjoy lunch Aug. 29 in the new Middletown Area High School cafeteria.


Even as excavators continued to replace the divot left by the demolition of their former school, students headed to their first lunch in the cafeteria in the new Middletown Area High School on Monday. 

Several students shared their impressions with the Press And Journal.

Abel Botterbusch said his body reminded him that he was not in the former building. 

“I am not already sweating because we have air conditioning, so that’s nice,” he said. 

Students said they liked the courtyard, allowing them to enjoy their lunches outside, although Botterbusch said he would wait until the weather cooled off a bit before spending much time outside during the day.

“It’s a lot more open, more freedom,” Blake Jacoby said.

“A lot more natural light makes it a little more relaxing,” Botterbusch said. 

The $41 million school replaces the one from 1962. The old building was 169,587 square feet with a building capacity of up to 865 students. The new high school is 196,413 square feet with a building capacity of up to 1,021 students. The auditorium can seat 54 more people — 859 compared to 805 in the old auditorium.

School administrators say it was designed to give more of a college feel.

Jacoby said he liked the flex rooms, a relaxed area with cushioned seats and tables. 

“It’s like a lounge area,” he said. 

“I am excited to see the flex rooms and how they will be used,” Jessica Knisely said. 

The students, who had an assembly before lunch on their first day of the term, noted the auditorium offered vast improvement over the outdated auditorium in the older building. 

“They did a good job on the sound and seats,” Keely Lombardi said. Botterbusch agreed, noting improvements in seating, lighting and sound. 

Classrooms feature more white boards and technology that shows just how much things have changed since the old building was designed. 

“The desks are a lot comfier,” Knisely said. 

“They are definitely good for organization and group work,” Lombardi said. 

The first day in a new building presents some challenges as everyone gets acclimated. 

“It’s really big,” Mckenzie Coble said. “It’s confusing.”

“Yeah, I got lost,” Jacoby said. 

Students will have eight weeks to get adjusted to the building before its official dedication Friday, Oct. 21, as part of Homecoming Weekend. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 15:04

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Penn State back in town


Campus was busy Aug. 19 when about 300 students moved in Penn State’s on-campus housing on the Capitol Campus.

Student volunteers helped new students find their way around the campus, getting acclimated to the setting. MoveIn6

Classes began Monday, Aug. 22, with about 5,000 students registered for classes at the campus in Lower Swatara Twp., one of the largest of the university’s Commonwealth Campuses.




Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 15:29

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A NEW HOME: Finishing touches still being completed

newHS7SLIDEPrincipal Michael Carnes checks out the Apple TV system set up to support the use of iPads and other media in Beth Gannon-Rittenhouse's 10th grade English classroom.


The new Middletown Area High School will be ready for the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 29.

Superintendent Lori Suski guarantees it. At the same time, it was obvious from our tour of the building on Friday, Aug. 19, that there is still work to be done.

People working for the contractor and the building architect could be found all over the new school, attending to what Suski called a “punch list” of last-minute to-dos. There were men on ladders, men painting, men putting in and adjusting shelves, and floors still to be waxed.

Working and moving around all this are the administrators, building staff, and the teachers — who started moving in on Monday, Aug. 15. There are still piles of boxes yet to be unpacked. 

Some students can also be found in the building. The football players and other fall student athletes got in first so they could start practicing for the new season.

More lately, students with the “Link Crew” peer assistance club have been roaming the halls of the building. These students will be escorts for tours of the new high school being given to students and parents that started Monday, Aug. 22.

Student tours of the new high school were given Monday for seniors and juniors, on Tuesday for sophomores and freshmen, and today, Aug. 24, for any students who cannot make the tours on the first two days.

The big public unveiling won’t be until Friday, Oct. 21, when an open house of the new high school will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. as part of Homecoming Weekend festivities. 

Getting to this point marks completion of a four-year journey, starting with the design process in July 2012, Suski said. Ground was broken on the new high school at a cost not to exceed $40.3 million in June 2014.

The $40.3 million estimate was before bids for the project came in, Suski told the Press And Journal in an email. The final actual cost of $41 million also reflects change orders associated with building the new high school. Approved change orders totaled less than 1 percent of the project cost, compared to the “industry standard” of 3 to 5 percent, Suski said.

There was no contingency or back-up plan in case the new high school wasn’t ready by Aug. 29, because Suski said she knew it would be.

“I have attended 57 construction conferences every other Monday for the past two years. We have monitored everything,” Suski said. At times, crews were brought in to work Saturday and Sunday and virtually “around the clock” to keep on schedule and meet the deadlines.

“We’re in good shape,” she said. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 15:25

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PSU Student Enrichment Center

Center ExteriorPress And Journal photos by Eric Wise

As Penn State students arrived on campus Aug. 19 for the fall semester, many stopped by to visit the new 70,000-square-foot Student Enrichment Center.

The center, features a comfortable student lounge, The Outpost (a cafe) and Provisions (a convenience store), the book store, a new theater/lecture hall, spiritual center, student counseling, disability services and international student support services.

TheOutpost Sign



Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 15:10

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