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JBMS renovations officially concluded

January 28, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- The document being provided to the Pennsylvania Department of Education this week by the Tuscarora School Board will officially bring a close to the renovation of James Buchanan Middle School, Mountain View Elementary School and Montgomery Elementary School.

The school board on Monday approved so-called PlanCon J, a document that states the final costs for the renovations. For the most part, those renovations wrapped up in 2006, but the board waited to declare them finished because of its right to make a punch list for the contractor.

The final costs are listed as $13,681,094 for the middle school and $3,473,351 each for Mountain View and Montgomery, according to figures provided by the district.

The board borrowed $20 million several years ago for the renovations. Anything spent beyond $20 million was paid for by a performance contract, according to Board President Jane Rice.

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Performance contracts are a way of investing in energy-efficient improvements.

Rice said she hopes community members see the progress made at the middle school and consider the difference that could be made at the high school. Voters last year struck down a $35 million borrowing plan that would've meant upgrades for the high school, which has about 860 teenagers enrolled in grades nine through 12.

A citizens committee is meeting to formulate a scaled-back proposal for James Buchanan High School renovation, Superintendent Rebecca E. Erb said.

In the meantime, David Black Associates of Chambersburg, Pa., is looking at the best way to fix the existing pipe and filter system for the pool. Also, school officials are working with a hydrologist to find ways to get cleaner water -- free of sediment -- into the middle and high schools.

A program with the American Lung Association will allow the air quality to be analyzed at the schools, Facilities Director Stanley Morgan told the school board Monday.

School officials are compiling a list of projects that could be considered for stimulus programs.

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