By Garrett Dvorkin
Herald Staff Reporter
The Titusville Area School District Board of School Directors met Tuesday night for their regular board meeting.
During the meeting, the directors approved an alternate plan, and awarded four bids to contractors for work on the Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) building, located at 330 E ast Spruce Street.
The ECLC building was was built by the district in 1991. The district is having the renovations done under the state’s Planning and Construction Reimbursement Project.
While the renovations are expected to cost $3,187,645, the state will reimburse the school district $2,500,000.00 for the upgrades.
TASD first submitted plans for these renovations in June, 2015, to make sure the project could be reimbursed before the end of the state’s program.
The school district is working with STANTEC, an engineering services company based in Alberta, Ontario, to help with the project.
STANTEC Engineer Mike Preston was present at the meeting to answer any questions the board members had.
Preston said he was happy with the bids they had received, and selected the “lowest responsible bid” to recommend to the district for approval.
Preston also presented the directors with what is called an alternative. An alternative is when something is either added or deducted from the original scope of the project.
Preston presented alternatives to the school board with additions to the project. Preston asked that the school board consider additional work to be done on the school’s sidewalks, countertops and sinks.
The district awarded contracts for general construction, mechanical, plumbing and electrical work.
For general construction, the district approved a $1.497 million bid from Perry Construction. Perry Construction submitted the lowest bid at $1.52 million.
The next lowest bids received were from Hudson Construction for $1.649 million and Rien Construction for $1.696 million. All other bids were above $1.7million.
For mechanical work, the district accepted the bid from Rabe Environmental for $725,000. TASD received four bids for the mechanical contractor, three were below $1 million. Rabe submitted the lowest bid followed by D&G Mechanical Heating and Cooling for $739,000 and Guy’s Mechanical System’s Inc.’s bid of $764,000.
For the plumbing work needed, the district accepted Independence Excavating’s low bid of $289,000. Independence was the only bid received under $300,000. The next lowest bids received by the district were from Scobell Company for $304,000 and Wm T. Spaeder for $328,000.
Lastly, TASD accepted Right Electric’s bid of $544,445 to be the project’s electrical contractor. There were only two bids received that were less than $650,000. The next lowest bid received was from Blackhawk Neff for $575,480.
The bids were awarded with “yes” votes from every board member except Carol Shaffer. Shaffer said that after spending money on the Carter Field project, she could not justify spending more money on renovations. Shaffer said that financialy the project is “a lot to ask this community to swallow.”
It was explained to Shaffer that the Planning and Construction reimbursements have an expiration date and that the district did not want to see the money not used. The $2.5 million reimbursements will cover the majority of the $3.1 million project.
TASD Superintendent Stephanie Keebler was happy with how the bid process went for the ECLC project and how the project budget is fairing.
“The district was pleased with the ECLC renovation project bids,” said Keebler. “The bids came in under budget and are from reputable companies.”
Keebler is excited to working with the contractors moving forward to help improve building safety and classroom environments.
The school district applied in 2015 to initiate the Planning and Construction process. The project, which has lettered steps mandated by the state, is currently on Part F.
Business Manager Shawn Sampson explained that the district was carefully following the state’s plans. The district approved the submitting of Part F of the project to the Pennsylvania Department of Education at the meeting.
According to the Planning and Construction guidelines, Part F “authorizes a district to receive bids and enter into construction contracts.” The next step in the project, Part G, determines a projects eligibility for reimbursements.
The school board voted to accept the resolution authorizing the purchase of the Sonday System Intervention Program for $24,889.59. The resolution was passed with one “no” vote coming from Jean Spence. Spence explained that she did not vote for the purchase as she would rather the district find an in-house option.
Dvorkin can be reached by email at Gdvorkin@titusvilleherald.com.
Correction: A previous version of this story said that the ECLC building was the most recent TASD building constructed.