Armstrong School District hopes to keep costs in line on new school
By Tim Karan
Published: Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
As Armstrong School District prepares to send its new high school construction out for bids, the board of directors is looking to save every penny possible.
During Thursday night's open caucus, the architects at L.R. Kimball and representatives of Reynolds Construction Management presented the board with an update on the planning of ASD's future junior-senior high school off Buffington Drive in Manor.
“The project is running on time,” said Kimball project manager Brian Hayes.
“And we're still holding on budget with the (soft cost) numbers we presented during the Act 34 hearing (that took place in September).”
If the board approves the next phase of planning during Monday's voting meeting, Hayes said the district could begin advertising for construction bids Jan. 16.
There would be a pre-bid meeting on Jan. 29 so that contractors could gather information for their proposals and all bids would be due Feb. 14.
Once the bids are opened, the board would meet to review and award the project. If all goes to plan, the school would be completed in July 2015.
Todd Buzard of Reynolds Construction Management told the board that although the roughly $60 million construction plan is currently projected to come in $1.4 million over budget, he expects a competitive market to bring bids that are potentially lower than estimated.
“Historically, costs come in under our estimates,” said Buzard. “If contractors are hungry, they'll bid real low. And I think, right now, they're hungry.”
In the meantime, Randy Frederick of Piper-Jaffray and Chris Brewer of Dinsmore and Shohl presented the board with an opportunity to refinance another bond issue – this time a portion of the district's 2006 bond originally in the amount of $12 million which could net ASD roughly $275,000 in savings.
The directors also entertained a proposal by Dave Mattini with Kittanning-based MDS Energy Development for the district to enter into a three-year lease that would allow the company to build two natural gas wells on the edges of the 49-acre property in Manor where Lenape Elementary School sits. Mattini said that if the wells are built, each could produce up to $3,500 per month in additional revenue to ASD.
After the meeting, board president Joe Close said the discussions are in the preliminary stage and there's no timetable for any further action. Still, he said the district is open to any opportunity to save its finances.
“It's a difficult time,” said Close. “We're trying to squeeze some money where we can.”
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Vandals strike Kittanning doctor’s memorial in picnic area
- Bullet strikes Armstrong school van
- Punxsutawney driver gets jail sentence for fatal crash
- Pittsburgh pair have drug charges dropped in Kittanning
- Auditor takes West Franklin to court
- Grove City man charged with passing counterfeit bills
- Kittanning Council looks at options for bridge traffic during repairs
- Armstrong road work bolstered by Act 89 funds
- Armstrong County towns consider consolidated police force