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Tuscarora schools renovated over the summer

August 10, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, Pa. -- A busy summer of school renovations is wrapping up in the Tuscarora School District, where several buildings had roofs patched and asbestos removed.

Facilities Director Stanley Morgan ticked off a list of projects during Monday's school board meeting.

Water lines were replaced from the reservoir to the middle and high schools, Morgan said. Crews discovered that valves were in poor condition and the system had a leak under a field, he said.

"What color is the water in the high school?" board member Larry Funk asked, referencing James Buchanan High School's notorious brown, but reportedly harmless, water.

"Everyone who has seen it has commented, 'The water is clear!'" Morgan said.

Principal Rodney Benedick said he's seen a dramatic difference in water quality.

"I drank the water for the first time in six years. It was good," he said.

Asbestos is being removed from the high school and St. Thomas Elementary School. Scopes were lowered into sewer drains, soundproofing was removed from the high school auditorium and a printing press was moved from the high school to the middle school.

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Sections of roofs at St. Thomas Elementary School and James Buchanan Middle School were repaired.

While draining the high school pool and replacing pipes connected to it, workers discovered the grouting between tiles had worn away. They're considering how best to repair that and how to pay for the work.

Construction continues at the district track, where base and top coats have been paved, Morgan said. The work is a week and a half behind schedule, he said.

"It's going to interfere with seasons. It's going to interfere with a lot of things," board president Jane Rice said, saying the contractor should lower its price accordingly.

The contract included a completion date in the fall, board member Kenneth Nolen said.

Fix JB Sports, a committee of concerned community members, launched repairs for the track amid a fundraising campaign. Bleachers have been moved and some are getting handicapped-accessibility upgrades.

The new scoreboard will have spots for sponsorship and naming opportunities, according to Tim Witter from Fix JB Sports.

District maintenance workers removed playground equipment from two schools as requested by the insurance company, and they are installing 22 SMART Board interactive whiteboards.

Construction bids are being sought for pool locker rooms.

Approximately $17 million will be spent to renovate James Buchanan High School.

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