Share This Page

Renovations set at Penn-Trafford

| Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Renovation of Penn-Trafford High School is slated to begin at the end of this school year, kicking off a three-year project that could total $32 million.

Contractor Massaro Corp. outlined construction plans and costs to school board members on Tuesday.

The nine-phase construction project would continue through September 2016, said Daniel Kiefer, Massaro's director of preconstruction.

Costs are broken down as $5.2 million for “soft costs,” such as architectural and engineering fees, and $26.2 million for “hard costs,” including materials and equipment.

School directors have committed about $19 million in bonds — $9.4 million last year and $10 million last month. Borrowing is done in increments of about $10 million, interim Superintendent Matt Harris said.

Officials will look at alternatives, which could lower the costs, Harris said.

They intend to pay off the debt over 17 years without raising taxes specifically for construction.

Shaun Rinier, who represents the Penn-Trafford Education Association, questioned why leaders didn't wait to borrow money until the governor's race ends. A new governor might restore funds for school construction projects, he said.

“I don't see that (Gov. Tom) Corbett does a whole lot for public education in any facet,” Rinier said. “If there's a new person in there, there might be many more positives.”

By starting now, however, directors are able to take advantage of “almost unprecedented bond rates,” board member Dallas Leonard said.

Plus, architect Hank Tkacik said, leaders have positioned themselves properly to receive reimbursement if funds become available.

The school board this week approved about $78,000 in planning expenses for the project, broken down among several companies. That includes geotechnical testing and topographic and aerial mapping.

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

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.