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Connellsville Area High School renovations ahead of schedule

The mild weather in March, coupled with contractors working a second shift, has allowed the Connellsville Area High School renovation project to progress ahead of schedule.

John Pappas, project manager with Eckles Construction Services Inc. of New Castle, reported to school directors on Wednesday that the majority of the demolition work for the project has been completed and the new walls on the first and second floors have been more than half completed.

"The mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-ins will be done by next week. The concrete work was begun in the last week and a half and will continue for next month. They are able to get into the cafeteria phase early. They will start the demolition on the second shift and start on the kitchen," Pappas said.

Contractor payments totaled $1.089 million for March, plus three change orders.

The first change order, for $12,849, represents the materials for changing the more than 200 window blind details from a valance to a recessed box. Pappas said Walter Mucci Construction originally wanted to charge $27,000 for this change.

Electrical contractor Westmoreland Electric charged $4,108 to add several phones to locations where they would be needed and $10,673 to provide more than 25 data drops for wireless devices.

In other action, the board will hold two special meetings at the Career and Technical Center cafeteria on April 30. At 6 p.m., directors will meet in a nonvoting work session to discuss the 2012-13 budget, followed at 7 p.m. by a voting meeting to appoint a superintendent.

In addition, directors will meet at 6 p.m. May 23 in the Junior High East auditorium to discuss the results of public hearings held in February regarding possible school closings and grade realignment.

The Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center will host an electronics recycling day during school hours on May 11. District residents may bring televisions, computers and other electronic devices to a labeled trash bin at the center for recycling.

Linda Murphy, CACTC executive director, said the program is being held in conjunction with Goodwill. Electronics cannot be disposed of in landfills.

Toni Sanner of the Zachariah Connell PTO invited directors to the school's fun day on May 24. She said the PTO will also have a booth at the first annual Bike for Books on May 19 in Yough River Park. The PTO will sell books, raffle baskets and sell popcorn, with all proceeds donated to the Connellsville Carnegie Free Library.

Director P.J. Carte will represent the district on the I.U. 1 board of directors for two years.

Directors approved an early retirement incentive for eligible cafeteria managers. Personnel director Karen Marko said retirees can receive $5,000 plus one year of health insurance under the program.

Directors approved an agreement with Schoolwires, State College, to create and maintain the district's website, beginning on Friday. Director Paul Harshman said the initial cost will be $15,902 through June, then about $20,000 per year for three years.

Directors approved a rifle team for the new Army JROTC program. Director Gary Wandel said the team members will compete against other JROTC programs using Daisy air rifles, which will be kept secured when not in use.

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