CASD OKs Girard-Goshen closure|
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By Wendy Lynn Brion Staff Writer
Important decisions to move forward with projects were made at last night's Clearfield Area School Board meeting with the board voting on the fate of Girard-Goshen Elementary and the building project at the high school.
In a 5-3 vote, the board voted to close the Girard-Goshen Elementary School, effective June 25.
Prior to the vote, two residents made public comment. Chuck Lauver noted the school's architect stated that the Girard-Goshen school is in the best condition of all the buildings in the district, the only problem is the roof is in need of repair. He asked why they would close that school and keep open those in worse shape, why go into the expense of a new building when there is one in good condition?
Stephanie Dowd, a resident of the Girard-Goshen area and a parent, noted that Girard-Goshen is a wonderful school and it "makes no sense" not to repair the school and keep the kids close to home, adding that all rural schools are important.
The vote to close the school was a roll call vote. Those voting in favor were David Glass, Mary Anne Jackson, Larry Putt, Richard Shickling and Dr. Michael Spencer. Those voting against the motion were Philip Carr, Susan Mikesell and Jennifer Wallace. Tim Morgan was absent from the meeting.
The other important vote facing the board last night was to accept bids on the building project at the high school, effectively giving the go-ahead to start construction.
Public comment on that decision came from Lauver and Gail Ralston, who has attended every meeting of the school board in recent months. Lauver thanked three of the board members who attended the concerned citizens meeting and wondered why the others had not attended. He said the group is asking the board to look at the proposals and cut costs wherever possible and "prevent the district from going into bankruptcy."
Ralston questioned the proposed size of the administrative offices, noting the projected size is 6,516 square feet, which includes the current auxiliary gym, 2,389 square feet, plus an adjacent storage room, 205 square feet, a portion of the existing canopy. 823 square feet, and new construction of 3,943 square feet. She noted this is double the size of an average home, or more, and questioned the need for that much space. She suggested using the Centre Elementary School as administrative offices, a suggestion made by others in the past.
Ralston also addressed some questions she has received. Regarding her sources, she said, "Most of my information comes from the district website, the feasibility study or Google searches on my computer." She also noted people say she lectures the board and she said with five minutes and the guidelines from the board, her presentations may come across as lectures, but she is doing what the board has said they want from the public, presenting different ideas. At the end, she said that what she wants is, "I want our students taken care of before any other group. I want us to have buildings that fit our needs and not our wants. I want our district and our students to be the best."
Architect Greer Hayden of HHSDR of Sharon talked about the bid opening last week. He reviewed the results, noting the lowest bidders and their alternate proposals regarding air conditioning and locker rooms. The lowest bid for general contractor came from Leonard Fiore Inc. with a base bid of $14,962,000. The cost of paving Waroquier Lane, located behind the football stadium, was bid at $124,000, and casework with alternate manufacturer is $85,000. Replacing the proposed plastic lockers in the gym with metal ones reduces the bid by $82,000 and reducing bleacher seating to 500 reduces the bid by $51,000. The total high bid with full air conditioning and a 1,000-seat gym is $15,089,000.
The lowest bid for HVAC was from W.G. Tomko Inc. with a base bid of $6,395,000 and adding air conditioning to the entire school will cost $1,109,000. Using Johnson Controls as opposed to Trane control systems reduces the bid by $387,000. The full bid would be $7,117,000. With only partial air conditioning in the school, the bid is $6,008,000.
The low bid for plumbing came from Pinnacle Plumbing and Heating Inc. at a cost of $2,248,000.
The low bid for electrical work came from Westmoreland Electric Inc. The base bid is $5,761,000. The addition of air conditioning for the entire school is $1,300 and the addition of a safety upgrade to auditorium light rigging, allowing the lights to be lowered and worked on is $34,000. The total bid is $5,796,300.
The low bid for food service equipment came from Todd Devin Food Equipment Inc. at a cost of $617,000. The bid for pool equipment went to Stoneridge Aquatic Construction Inc. with a base bid of $242,800 and an addition of a scoreboard and timing system of $78,500 with a total bid of $321,300. The bid for asbestos abatement went to Clarion Environmental Services Inc. for $65,000.
The total amount, if the board chose to go with full air conditioning and a 1,000-seat gym and all the alternate bid options is $31,253,600.
Hayden also reviewed other costs including electric and telephone company allowances, surveying, test borings, code approval and inspection fees, printing, construction manager, special construction inspections, SWM/E&S/sewage models, flow testing, NPDES permitting, miscellaneous, asbestos consultant, design and engineering, contingency and financing, resulting in a project budget summary of $36,018,821.
Wallace questioned the cost of printing, which was listed at $40,495. Hayden replied that much of the cost had to do with printing material for the bids, which was considerable, and the size of the materials printed. Someone else asked if metal lockers for the gym were a good idea, even though they would save the district money, noting that during a MRSA outbreak the lockers would be washed regularly and would eventually rust. A question about the difference between Trane and Johnson controls was also asked and Hayden said it was a matter of services.
The board also discussed the need for air conditioning in the entire school and several board members noted that if the district was planning to utilize the building year round, air conditioning would be necessary. Also, Morgan pointed out that in the warmer months of the fall and spring the third floor can often get very hot.
Prior to the actual vote, the board discussed some other matters and it was noted the prices have gone up from when the board first discussed the project. Wallace said, "It's not too late to look at alternatives," and noted the option of turning Centre Elementary into administrative offices.
Someone else also noted that the cost is millions more than anticipated and the debt service could be $1.7-1.8 million.
Spencer added that having two buildings, the high school and Clearfield Elementary School, was about as efficient as the district could get and the state Department of Education is encouraging efficiency in all districts.
The board voted on five resolutions concerning the project. Resolution No. 1 was to approve Plan Con F "Post-bid Opening Notification for additions and alterations to the Clearfield Area High School Project" to be submitted to PDE. Resolution No. 2 was to award the contracts for the seven contractors listed above, choosing to have full air conditioning in the building. Resolution No. 3 appointed CMT Laboratories Inc. of State College to do soil testing and inspection for $30,956. Resolution NO. 4 approved and authorized submission of Plan Con G "Project Accounting Based on Bids" to PDE and Resolution NO. 5 approved and authorized submission of Plan Con H, "Project Financing" to PDE.
Each resolution was voted on separately in a roll call vote and all the votes were the same. Voting in favor were Spencer, Carr, Glass, Jackson, Putt and Wallace. Voting no were Mikesell and Shickling.