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Board of Ed. OKs Pa. school renovation contract

January 09, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg school board members approved an $9.8 million contract Wednesday for renovations at the senior high school that will begin this summer.

The Chambersburg Area Board of School Directors awarded the contract, which guarantees energy savings that will pay for the cost of the work over a 10-year period, to the Kansas-based CMS Viron Services.

Last fall, the board approved the concept of a performance contract to overhaul many systems in the aging high school and received two in-depth proposals in November.

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The contract is substantially lower than the $13 million officials projected. Building and Grounds Manager Dick Bender attributed the low bid to good timing.

The district will pursue an aggressive timeline, leaving the contractor only a few months to get everything designed, ordered and ready to go by June when the school will close for the summer.

The project will essentially upgrade and retrofit the entire building, from replacing windows and heating to adding air conditioning and installing a new roof.

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 expected to wrap up in late 2004.

Officials expect the renovations will address many key problems with the aging high school.

Through a performance contract in 2001 with CMS Viron, the district installed a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Chambersburg Area Middle School, which in its first year saved the district nearly $200,000 in energy and maintenance costs.

These improvements at Chambersburg Area Senior High School will move forward while the school board continues to explore the possibility of a new secondary school.

Superintendent Ed Sponseller reported back to the board Wednesday with his recommendations for whether the high school should operate with grades nine to 12 in two buildings on one campus, or if the current high school should house one set of grades while a new building somewhere else in the district would house the other two grades.

The board differed on this decision and directed Sponseller to formulate what he saw as the best scenario.

Sponseller recommended a new nine-10 building on a separate campus from the current high school, which would house grades 11 and 12.

He said the district is projected to enroll 2,575 students by the year 2011, too many for one campus.

He suggesting buying a 70-acre site within four miles of the existing school to construct a nine-10 building or renovating either the junior high school or middle school for the purpose.

If that happened, the district would still have to buy additional land and build a new middle school, providing the board sticks with the plan of forming two middle schools with grades 6 to 8.

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