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School renovations proposals reviewed

December 09, 2002|By STACEY DANZUSO

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - School officials will report to the Chambersburg Area Board of School Directors this month on the proposals they received to renovate much of the high school.

The board approved the concept of a performance contract to renovate many systems in the aging Chambersburg Area Senior High School earlier this fall, and the district has since received two proposal from companies, including one that has done similar work in the district, Business Manager Rick Vensel said.

EMS Viron and PP&L both submitted in-depth proposals that school officials and a consultant hired specifically for the project are poring over.

Vensel said he expects to make a presentation at a Dec. 18 Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting.

He said the board will not make a decision until January.

"We will come back with a report to the school board on what the proposals mean and the costs," Vensel said.

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He said the aggressive timeline the district is pursuing still appears feasible.

"There is a great possibility it can be done in the timeline," Vensel said.

He said he could not comment yet on whether the costs outlined in the proposals are in line with what the district anticipated because of the detail of the reports. "We need to make sure the elements in the proposals are what we want," he said.

The district still plans to incorporate two projects with the renovations, including technology wiring and asbestos-related undertakings.

The board is scheduled tonight to give its approval to solicit bids for asbestos removal at Chambersburg Area Senior High School.

Officials want the renovations to begin in June. In September, the board approved a plan calling for improvements to Chambersburg Area Senior High School through a performance contract while continuing to explore the possibility of a new secondary school.

The earliest the board will approve a contract would be at the Jan. 8 meeting, Vensel said, leaving the contractor only a few months to get everything designed, ordered and ready to go by June, when the school closes for the summer.

The district expects to spend about $15 million to essentially upgrade and retrofit the whole building, from replacing windows and heating to adding air-conditioning and remodeling the bathrooms, according to Building and Grounds Supervisor Dick Bender.

Performance contracts guarantee annual energy savings and water conservation that pay for the cost of the work over a 10-year period.

Work would continue year-round, although during the summer the building will be closed to activities. Contractors will continue working during off-school hours in the school year, with work to be completed in late 2004.

Officials expect the renovations will address many key problems with the aging school, but said a performance contract can't change the footprint of the building.

Through a performance contract last year with EMS Viron, the district installed a new heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system at Chambersburg Area Middle School, which in its first year saved the district nearly $200,000 in energy and maintenance costs, Bender said.

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