Officials will discuss middle school project

Mars board meets Tuesday

December 5, 2018 Cranberry Local News

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ADAMS TWP — The Mars School Board will discuss the planned renovation project at the middle school during a special meeting.

The meeting was scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday — an hour before the regular board meeting — at the administration office on Route 228.

The project has been a topic of discussion throughout the year, with the board considering different options for renovations at the 50-year-old building at the corner of Route 228 and Three Degree Road. District officials considered two different options for the renovation, and last month decided to proceed with one they believe will help accommodate growth in the district over the next decade.

The project maintains the same building footprint, although it includes floor plan changes and renovations to the building’s interior. It also includes the creation of spaces for both large and small group instruction and student collaboration.

The total cost of the project is $14.4 million, of which about $10 million will come from a bond issue. The remainder comes from residual dollars from an existing bond fund that is on hand in a reserve account.

“(The district) will be able to afford this project with money we have in our possession today,” said Dayle Ferguson, board president. “We will not require any additional borrowing.”

The largest chunk — about 64 percent, or $7.9 million — would go toward mechanical, electrical and plumbing work. Exterior envelope work, which includes a new roof and windows, accounts for nearly $2.2 million, while interior finishing work would cost about $1.4 million. Also included in the project is site resurfacing work as well as new equipment for the kitchen area.

Earlier this month, the board approved an agreement with Thomas & Williamson Program Management for construction management services related to the project. Also approved were agreements with Eckles Architecture & Engineering for architectural services; CJLEngineering for engineering services; and McFarland Kistler & Associates for food service design services.

Eckles Architecture’s bid was $286,904.82; CJL Engineering was the lowest engineering firm with $289,500; and McFarland Kistler & Associates was the lowest bidder at $14,500.

The board is expected to award contracts for the project in early 2019. Construction is expected to begin next summer and is scheduled to be completed by December 2019.

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