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James Buchanan High renovation set to begin in Jan.

November 24, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

The renovation of James Buchanan High School is on target to start Jan. 11.

The Tuscarora School Board on Monday approved $14.2 million worth of contracts for the project, which will upgrade the high school's mechanical systems but not expand the building.

Bids came in lower than estimated, according to Hal Hart, of architectural firm Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates.

The base bids, of $13.7 million, were 6 percent lower than the maximum set by the school board, Hart said. Contingency funds and several alternatives evaluated for cost and value were added, he said.

"We had a good turnout overall, good response to our request for bids," Hart said.

The board agreed R.A. Hill Inc. would serve as the general contractor. Farfield Co. won the heating, ventilation and air conditioning contract and electrical contract. Carl E. Frantz Inc. will do plumbing, TGW Corp. roofing and Dauphin Datacom technology.

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Board member Clifford Smith Jr. questioned why the architect and administration recommended against a 30-year roof warranty.

"As a 30-year warranty, you're paying $130,000 for the extra 10 years. ... For $130,000, we felt we could use that a lot better elsewhere," Facilities Director Stanley Morgan said.

The board authorized Morgan to oversee the work on a day-to-day basis. Any change orders greater than $5,000 must go before the board for approval.

"Realistically there will be change orders," Morgan said.

The board asked him to do everything possible to minimize change orders, so costs don't escalate as they had in past building projects.

High School Principal Rodney Benedick said the renovation will re-configure the school's library, widen some hallways and the pass-through between two art classrooms, move the lockers, bring spaces up to building code, and take care of some carpeting, lighting and ceilings.

In September 2008, voters rejected $35 million of borrowing to renovate the high school. That referendum vote sent school officials back to the drawing board.

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