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Burrell lines up $330K in summer projects

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 1:26 a.m.

The Burrell School Board awarded about $330,000 worth of construction contracts on Tuesday for summer projects at Stewart Elementary and Burrell High schools.

About half of the cost will pay for a more secure entrance at Stewart.

Because visitors can avoid stopping at the main office once they are buzzed in, administrators plan to create a new entry vestibule outside the building near the office.

The entrance will have two sets of secure doors, creating a “mousetrap” that will allow office staff to interact with visitors before they are admitted into the school proper.

BCS Construction Inc. of Altoona was named the general contractor for the project after submitting a low bid of $131,000.

Guy's Mechanical Systems of Rochester will perform the ventilation work for about $29,000, and Breavco of Kittanning was awarded the electrical contract for about $14,000.

Superintendent Shannon Wagner noted the latter two contracts were rebid after the district received only one bid each in an earlier round.

David Esposito of Eckles Architecture & Engineering said the contracts require the work to be completed for the start of school on Sept. 3.

Esposito said they still are working with Lower Burrell's code department to determine whether the interior alterations are significant enough to require handicapped-accessibility updates to the affected area. He said it could affect a nearby water fountain.

Board member Deb Kinosz questioned whether it was normal for multiple contractors to be working on a project, especially since BCS submitted bids for other contracts but wasn't selected for them.

Esposito said it's not unusual for multiple subcontractors to be hired and they seldom have problems working together.

He said his firm worked with BCS on a smaller project and had no problems.

Gym contract

Also awarded were about $156,000 in contracts for improvements to the high school gymnasium.

Moret Construction of Lower Burrell was named the general contractor with a base bid of $143,000, plus $4,000 in repairs to the retractable gym divider.

Wagner said the bulk of the work involves painting the walls and ceiling and installing new sound-absorbing panels and new basketball backstops.

The gym divider, which Esposito said dates to 1963, still works and could be costly to replace.

Therefore, he and Wagner were only recommending a largely cosmetic improvement to the panel around the door in the divider.

Breavco also was awarded a $9,000 contract for electrical work in the gym.

Wagner said the district will pay about another $20,000 to contractors for safety and cosmetic improvements to the bleacher railings and for repainting the gym floor.

“It will be a dramatic difference in the appearance of the room,” Esposito said.

Wagner said all the projects will be paid through the capital projects fund.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or

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