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Renovation project at CAHS should be closed out by February

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By Rachel Basinger
Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 11:30 p.m.

All work involved with the renovations and construction of the Connellsville Area High School is almost complete.

John Pappas with Eckels Construction Services Inc., updated board members at Wednesday. He said all phases of work have reached substantial completion.

“During the past two months contractors have been focusing on outstanding punch lists and finish-ups throughout the building,” he said. “There are still some punch list items and outstanding change orders, but work is definitely starting to close out and finish up.

“We anticipate everything to be closed out by the end of February,” Pappas added.

There was an issue with humidity in the pool area for about two weeks where the water temperature was adjusting to meet a lot of different needs.

“The mechanical issue should be fixed and the equipment should function as it's supposed to by the end of the week,” Pappas said. “The high humidity levels have come down significantly.”

Mike Omatick, director of buildings and grounds for the district, said he has had requests from teachers, principals, swim instructors and other individuals who all have a different idea on where the water temperature should be set.

He asked the board to make a decision on what temperature the pool water should stay.

Pappas said an engineer he talked with suggested the air temperature should be between 81 and 84 degrees and the water temperature should be about 82 degrees.

But Director Francis Mongell said the American Red Cross sets the guidelines for physical education and elementary swimming at 84.2 degrees.

“If you're competing and you're in and out of the water, 82 degrees may be OK, but if you're a physical education student, you're sitting in the pool for a significant amount of time and cooler water is going to cause your body temperature to decrease,” Mongell said.

Director Paul Means made a motion to set the humidity and water temperatures to the current engineering recommendations and specifications. All board members, except Mongell, supported Means' motion.

In other school renovation projects, Pappas said work is closed on both the West Crawford Elementary School renovations as well as the new roof project at the Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center.

The district has also started updating the feasibility study.

“We've toured the facilities and we've started the process of forming a draft of the feasibility study,” Pappas said. “We hope to have a draft study available for the February meeting.”

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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