Mars Area Middle School renovations 'on schedule'

August 14, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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ADAMS TWP — The Mars Area School Board was updated on middle school renovations during a meeting Aug. 6.

“We're on schedule,” said John Hays, Thomas & Williamson general construction manager. “We're on budget as always.”

Hays asked the board to approve several change orders that increase the district's contingency.

The first order was to repair a collapsing wall in the elementary school for $27,975. The board has been aware of the issue, but was unable to find an acceptable contractor during the bid process. Hays was asked to do the project in addition to the middle school work.

Two changes for which Hays asked resulted in a combined $90,063 deduction for work on walls, doorways and the roof. New code, Hays said, has made processes for fire-rated doors and walls and finishing the roof easier.

“It's actually less costly,” Hays said.

The deduction of the roofing materials alone would be about $301,000, according to Hays. However, tying the existing walls into the roof is about $215,000, leaving a net deduction of $86,363. The fire-rated walls and doors will result in a $3,700 deduction.

Hays asked the board to approve an additional $1,845 to install more bulkheads in the cafeteria. The architect has recommended that the bulkheads be extended beyond duct work to create a uniform look.

The board unanimously approved the change orders.

Finishing the gym floor will lag behind about two weeks due to scheduling. The family consumer science, art and robotics rooms will also take longer to complete because they're bigger. The kitchen will be finished for students by the time school starts, and Hays said he expects positive reactions to the cafeteria.

Dayle Ferguson, board president, clarified that students will be able to return to school in September, but construction won't be complete.

She said the building will be safe for students.

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