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Time, place set for auction of Bell-Avon Elementary

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Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:26 a.m.
 

Kiski Area School Board will auction the shuttered Bell-Avon Elementary School building to the public next month.

Business Manager Peggy Gillespie said the auction will be at 9 a.m. on Nov. 16 in the Salina area of Bell Township, where the building is located.

The board will vote on Monday whether the mineral rights on the property's 5 acres will be included as one item with the building when it hits the auction block. School board President Keith Blayden said he expects unanimous approval.

“It makes the property that much more attractive, and it opens it up to different types of buyers,” he said. “I don't know what's under there or how much it will go for.”

Gillespie said potential buyers, whom she would not identify, have expressed interest in converting the former elementary school into a storage facility or senior community center. Others have mentioned scrapping the building and selling its composition, she said.

“You can do a lot with it, especially with its open gym,” Gillespie said. “It could be a unique project.”

Upper Elementary project costs rise by $64.4K

The board on Thursday was presented with $64,415 in change orders for its $19.9 million Kiski Area Upper Elementary School project. The project, which began last summer, involved the renovation and enlargement of the former North Washington Elementary School to four times its original size.

The project was completed in time for fifth- and sixth-grade students to use the building on Sept. 3, the first day of school. But project manager Steve Peterman of Massaro Construction Management Services said construction crews came across unforeseen expenses in the later stages of the project.

Included among the final change orders were $15,457 to reduce emissions from concrete poured in the school's kitchen and $17,564 for the removal and replacement of unsuitable soil.

Board member Elizabeth Kovach took exception with the uncontracted expenses.

“Anything over $10,000 is supposed to be approved by the board, and none of this came before our attention,” she said. “They're mistakes that could have been prevented, and we're paying for them.”

Peterman said he decided to forgo board approval in the interest of completing the project on time. The change orders, delivered to the board since last summer, account for an additional 0.94 percent of the project's overall cost, said board member Robert Keibler.

“The national standard for change orders is 5 percent, and the average is 3 percent,” he said. “Right now, it's looking like the entire project will finish under 1 percent. That's phenomenal work.”

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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