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Work on CASD schools moving forward

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By Rachel Basinger
Friday, May 10, 2013, 5:48 p.m.

Contractors working on the Connellsville Area Senior High School renovations are hoping to get a jump on summer work for the final phase of the project, which includes renovations to the main gymnasium and its locker rooms.

During an update presentation to district board members this week, John Pappas, Eckles construction manager, reported that the floor in the auxiliary gymnasium had been installed and the graphics on the floor should be complete this week.

After a brief cure time, Pappas said they are hoping to have the auxiliary gymnasium available for class use around May 17, so contractors can focus on complete demolition of the main gymnasium and locker rooms.

“Most of the demolition in these locker rooms is complete and the new rough-ins have begun,” Pappas said. “Our goal is to begin the main gym renovations before the end of the school year.”

In other building updates, most of the demolition is complete in the natatorium, or pool area. The new pool drain line has been installed. The pool contractor is pouring the concrete surge tank this week and the pool floor next week.

The auditorium and commons are substantially complete with just a few punch list items, and work continues on the site concrete work outside the building, including the War Memorial plaza and West parking lot.

Pappas also gave an update on the renovations at the former Connellsville Junior High West, which will be utilized as an elementary school next school year.

For the most part, the miscellaneous renovations are done. The planned kindergarten and first-grade wing walls, roof and toilets have been roughed in and the finish work, including painting, should begin next week.

Work has begun on the kindergarten and first-grade playground, as well as the second- through sixth-grade playground.

They are hoping to get a cleaning sequence figured soon for the building project so workers can begin putting the building back together, starting on the second floor.

In regards to the playground, resident Toni Sanner questioned whether any soil testing or core samples were done in the areas because she had heard that old building material in earlier renovations was buried on the site.

Pappas said they were not required to do core samples because a structure wasn't being placed on those sites, but added they have been looking out for any kind of exposed building materials while doing the excavating work at the playgrounds.

He said they have not run into any buried building materials and guessed any that might have been buried are at a significantly lower grade than what they need to dig for the playground.

Directors approved more than $41,000 in change orders for the senior high project and nearly $7,000 in change orders for the former Junior High West renovations.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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