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Penn-Trafford fix closer to reality

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By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

With the completion this summer of topographic and aerial mapping at Penn-Trafford High School, the 41-year-old school is another step closer to the beginning of an expected $32 million renovation.

School board members on Monday unanimously approved a $10,700 cost for Morris Knowles and Associates' mapping work, which occurred in June.

“(It's an) overview of the facilities and the lay of the ground,” school board president P. Jay Tray said about the mapping, which he said is standard in these types of projects.

Earlier this summer, school directors decided on the $32 million budget for renovations at the high school campus.

The $32 million amount can fluctuate as engineers continue to determine project specifications, Tray said.

Renovations are expected to include updated heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, additional science labs and auditorium upgrades. Plans call for the addition of 66 parking spaces and improved cafeteria and kitchen equipment.

Throughout the spring, school board members asked the public for comments about their project.

In November, directors voted to borrow $9.5 million for the project. A moratorium has been placed on the Department of Education's reimbursement program, but Penn-Trafford submitted a placeholder in case funding is released. The board is slated to pay off the project in 12 years.

Officials hope to break ground on the renovations in June 2014, interim Superintendent Matthew Harris said. They hope to complete as much work as possible while students are on summer break, he said.

The high school last underwent major renovations in 1996.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or

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