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Construction continues at Waynesboro high school

April 22, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA.

The construction project at Waynesboro Area Senior High School has ripped up blacktop, uprooted trees and displaced a flagpole, leaving dirt and rocks spread across the school campus.

Within two months, the public will see the steel and concrete shell of a 108,000-square-foot addition to the front of the school.

Covered in brick, the new wing will be home to a three-court gymnasium and auditorium with mezzanine level. In a nod to projected growth, both have been designed to accommodate 1,600 students at a time.

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The school's existing media center will become classrooms, the old auditorium will be the cafeteria and today's cafeteria will be a library when the $46 million project is complete in April 2009.

Early stages in the process have included removing asbestos from most of the building (the auditorium remains to be done) and digging up limestone to get the site to grade.

"We're blasting pretty much every day," said Michael Bachman, the project's construction manager through Alexander Building Construction LLC of Harrisburg, Pa.

Bachman, who has a background in city construction, feels the Waynesboro project has been reasonably contained geographically. He admitted it might appear more substantial to those thinking in terms of what has been temporarily lost.

"From the public's position, they're losing parking and seeing streets closed," he said.

Bachman's role, under general contractor Lobar Associates Inc. of Dillsburg, Pa., is to address what he feels will be the biggest challenge of the project - coordination among all of the trades.

So far, as many as 50 workers have been on the site at any given time, Waynesboro Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Adams said. That number eventually will increase to about 150, he said.

A phasing schedule has been established to ensure the most disruptive work inside the existing building is done when school is not in session.

"The big impact on the students will be next year when we begin renovations inside," Bachman said.

The coming masonry work will form the shell of the new wing, in which the auditorium will be closer to East Second Street and the gym closer to the football stadium.

"We want to dry it in as soon as we can, so people can get their utilities in," Bachman said.

Fill created by excavation at the site is being hauled across the street and closer to the middle school to create the base of new athletic fields.

Drilling for the geothermal well system has been proceeding ahead of schedule, with workers having more than 200 of their 310 holes drilled by last Friday, Adams and Bachman said.

The system, which will be the new method of heating and cooling the building, has piping 354 feet below ground in which water loops in and out of the school refrigeration system, Adams said. The earth keeps the water at a constant temperature, subsequently heating and cooling the school as needed through absorption, he said.

Bachman called it a "very simple, but efficient type of heating system."

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