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Pa. board approves $46 million bid to fix high school

November 01, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Area School Board voted Tuesday to approve a $46 million project bid for renovating Waynesboro Area Senior High School. The bid, which was 7 percent higher than the figure proposed in August, passed in a 7-2 vote.

Joshua Bower, a representative of the architect EI Associates of Harrisburg, Pa., said the increase could be attributed to higher materials costs, the number of parties bidding and the estimated length of the project.

Board member Todd Rock opposed the resolution saying the bid had "grown too large for me." Rock said when the project first began it was valued at $19 million. When bids were opened in August, EI Associates estimated the project at $42 million.

Board president Larry Glenn said he cast his vote in favor of the resolution for many reasons, including the need for more space at the high school.

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"The environment of the existing building is not conducive to good student learning," Glenn said.

The 28-month project will renovate and add to the existing building, making it large enough to accommodate 1,600 students. Glenn said the project includes new classrooms, a gym, cafeteria and auditorium, all configured to provide easier access and greater security.

Voting against the resolution Tuesday, board member Leland Lemley said when the board first sought a bond, it was to renovate three schools - the high school, Summitview Elementary and Hooverville Elementary. Since then, he said the other two equally necessary projects had been ignored while the price stayed about the same.

Glenn agreed that the cost of the project had risen over time, saying the longer they waited to accept a bid, the higher the price would climb.

Despite the recent 7 percent increase, Bower said the price should not rise again. "Only the board would increase the project cost at this point," he said.

While the school district will have to cover the cost of the project initially, Bower said it will most likely receive $8 million to $9 million in reimbursements from the state.

Bower said they hope to break ground on the project later this month.

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