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State High Project

Our community. Our children. Our future.


  • Project updates: November 23, 2015

    On Nov. 18 in a public meeting, the SCASD administration opened State High Project construction bids. Bids were accepted and recorded for seven prime contractor packages — sitework, general, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, fire protection and food service — as well as for several bid alternate features.

    • Preliminary low prime contractor bids amounted to $117,023,100. Project architect Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates’ estimate for construction costs was $108,759,200.
    • With expected soft costs of $20,682,375, the overall base bid cost stands at $137,705,475. This falls between pre-bid overall estimates, making the project viable and allowing it to proceed.
    • On Nov. 19, the district’s Citizens Advisory Committees for finance and facilities met with district administrators to discuss the bids and the district’s recommendations for which bid alternates to accept. SCASD Board of School Directors members sit on each committee.
    • The administration recommends accepting $4,957,000 in bid alternate features, including an Innovation Center for STEM classes and collaborative, project-based learning, and rejecting $13,588,100 in other bid alternate features.
    • The Board discussed the preliminary low bids and district bid alternate recommendations at its Nov. 23 meeting.
    • The Board will vote on accepting the bids and any bid alternates at a special Nov. 30 meeting.

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  • Preliminary bid results

    On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the State College Area School District opened prime contractor bids in a public event at Panorama Village building. Four intensive years of community outreach and planning — and only the second successful referendum vote in state history — led to the
    historic moment in Meeting Room A before dozens of contractors, district employees and others in attendance.

    Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik announced preliminary bids for seven packages: site, general, plumbing, mechanical (HVAC), electrical, fire protection and food service. Here are the preliminary bid results.

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  • Project updates: Nov. 9, 2015 Board meeting

    • At the Nov. 9 meeting, the SCASD Board of Directors committed to a revised bidding schedule.


    • Project bids now will be opened at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in Meeting Room A of the Panorama Village building. The date had been extended from Nov. 12.


    • At 4 p.m. Nov. 19, the Citizens Advisory Committees for facilities and finance will hold a joint meeting, joined by select board members, in Meeting Room A to review the bids.


    • Bids will be presented to the Board at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 in Meeting Room A.


    • In a special meeting, the Board will vote on accepting bids and alternates at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 in Meeting Room A.

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  • Bid Documents Released

    State High Project documents have been released for bidding until 3:30 p.m., prevailing time, on November 18, 2015. An optional pre-bid meeting was held on Thursday, October 8, at 1:30 p.m., in the State College Area High School South Building. Parking will be available at the North Building parking lot, 653 Westerly Parkway, State College PA 16801.

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  • Change in High School South Traffic Pattern, Oct. 5

    Starting on Monday, Oct. 5, there will be a new traffic pattern at the high school South Building.
    One of the changes will be a reversal of the South Building front parking lot’s entrance and exit. This will align with one-way bus traffic on the back loop road, with the direction chosen so that students can exit and enter buses safely on the school curbside.
    For information about parent drop-off/pickup, parking, and buses, please visit the "Parking and Traffic" page.
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  • Project updates: Sept. 28, 2015 Board Meeting

    • At a Sept. 28 meeting, the State College Area School District Board of Directors reviewed the State High Project 90 percent cost estimate prepared by Massaro Construction Management Services (MCMS). The MCMS estimate was separate from one done by project architects Crabtree Rohrbaugh and Associates and presented to the Board on Aug. 28.


    • MCMS estimated the final total estimate will be $140,332,300 (including soft costs of $18,772,675), compared to CRA’s $129,441,575 (including the same soft costs).


    • Projected net costs to SCASD — the 90 percent estimates minus two secured Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) grants of a little less than $4 million — are $136,396,307 from MCMS and $125,506,182 from CRA.


    • The gap between the estimates can be attributed partly to different opinions from independent parties.  Approaches to the estimates also differed. CRA generated an estimate meant to predict the total value of low bids, drawing on data from its previous projects. MCMS calculated an estimate representing the predicted mid-point of all bids, using current market data for material prices and labor as guides.



    • The Board will vote on approving the project construction documents Oct. 5 at a special meeting.


    • Currently, the Board expects to open bids Nov. 5, review bids and alternates Nov. 9 and award bids Nov. 16. According to that schedule, main construction should begin early next year.


    • Starting Oct. 5 and effective through the year, the traffic flow at the South Building will change. The entrance and exit to the front parking lot will be reversed to align with the back loop road, which will be one way from O’Bryan Lane to Westerly Parkway so that students can enter and leave school buses on the school side of the road. Back lot parking will be available to staff and visitors.



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  • Sign up for State High Project Updates

    Want to receive updates about the State High Project via e-mail and/or SMS text? Updates will include timely news and features about project progress, parking and traffic, construction phasing, project milestones, and more.

    To sign up, visit

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  • New: State High Project Webcam!

    aerial view of parking lot being paved in front of the high school track









    You can now view work in progress on the State High Project via webcam, using this link:

    A login is required:

    Username: Guest (case sensitive: uppercase G)
    Password: guest (case sensitive: all lowercase)

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  • Project updates: August 31, 2015 Board meeting

    • At a special meeting Aug. 31, the State College Area School District Board of Directors reviewed the State High Project 90 percent cost estimate prepared by Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, the project’s architectural firm.
    • The final CRA estimate for the total project cost is $129,441,575.
    • The final estimate is $2,232,621 more than the 60 percent total project cost estimate. This represents about a 1.7 percent increase, which isn’t an unusual change for this stage of development in a large construction project.
    • Most of the increase, about $1.7 million, relates to sitework beyond the SP15 summer project.  SP15 focuses on building the new loop road around the South Building.  In addition, the new cost estimate includes a budget to construct temporary parking behind the North building that was not included in the 60 percent estimate.
    • The increase also includes a $300,000 traffic light installation, which wasn’t in the 60 percent estimate because of pending questions about Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approval, and $200,000 in building design changes.
    • After two state Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) grants worth $3,935,393 are subtracted, the final estimated cost to the district is $125,506,182.
    • The SCASD net cost does not include an estimated $7,666,746 in PlanCon reimbursement from the state.
    • The Board is considering $7,391,157 in alternates.
    • The roughly $125.5 million SCASD net cost will be funded by $85 million in referendum debt, $10 million in capital reserves and $30 million in debt funded by current tax millage. At the time of referendum election, the $30 million figure was at $20 million, given the $115 million referendum budget. Financial planning for changes in the scope of the State High Project led to the additional $10 million allocation from the district’s capital plan.
    • The revised project calendar calls for the bid opening date on Nov. 5, with the Board reviewing bids and alternates on Nov. 9. The bid award day will occur on Nov. 16.
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  • Map of South Building entrances

    Here is a map of the current South Building entrances. Click the thumbnail to enlarge.

    Student and main entrances to the South Building


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  • Vote on accepting the State High Project 90 percent floor plans

    On July 27, the State College Area School District Board of Directors voted to accept the State High Project 90 percent floor plans.

    At this stage of the State High Project, accepting the latest 90 percent floor plan documents establishes the final building configuration and allow work on the MEP drawings (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) to be completed.

    To view the 90% floor plans, see

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  • Project updates: July 13, 2015 Board meeting

    • On July 13, the design team informed the Board about a revised project calendar. Because of lagging 90 percent stage mechanical, electrical and plumbing drawings due to earlier design revisions, the bid award day has been changed from Sept. 16 to Oct. 19. The Board is scheduled to vote on approving the 90 percent floor plans July 27 and the construction documents and alternates Aug. 31. Bidding on the main bid package will open Oct. 6. The extra time is necessary to trim the current estimating contingency of 8.5 percent in the project cost estimates and prepare the most precise and accurate documents possible for bid day.

    • After reviewing the 90 percent documents, Massaro Construction Management Services could not reduce the estimating contingency. Project architect Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates issued an updated set of documents July 10. These will be used to generate a new estimating contingency.

    • Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates’ updated documents included changes to the early childhood care instruction area. A bathroom was removed from one section of the design, and in another, a bathroom’s walls will be built from drywall instead of cement blocks. The changes give the district more flexibility to convert the spaces to general classrooms if the need arises in the future.

    • Final approval discussions continue to take place with State College municipal officials and Centre Region Code Administration officials. State College officials oversee landscaping, parking and traffic matters, while COG code officials are responsible for buildings.

    • The Board approved a final parameters recommendation prepared by NW Financial Group, the district’s financial advisor, that includes a 10-year call period for the General Obligation Bonds Series B of 2015 refunding. The call feature is an option that allows the district to take advantage of lower interest rates in the future. Based on its analysis, NW Financial Group concluded that the district will save $870,000 by choosing 10 years instead of five for a call period because the current market will charge the district almost .60 percent less in interest rates. Here is the full analysis.


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  • Project updates: June 22, 2015 Board meeting

    • Summer work continues on building a loop access road to the back of the South Building, which will become the main school entrance in the fall. The road also will serve as the primary student pathway to a designated crossing at Westerly Parkway for reaching the North Building. Fencing will shield the entrance road from construction, and a second, smaller fence will define the sidewalk and create a safe corridor for students.

    • Next school year, temporary parking spaces will be built next to Community Field and near the North Building entrance off Logan Avenue. Additional spaces will be available in a new lot constructed at the back of the South Building, though the lot will not be finished next year. All together, the new spaces will replace the ones lost in the fall when the existing South Building main parking lot becomes a construction zone. Faculty and staff likely will use the news spaces while students mainly park in the current North Building lot.

    • The Board received a review of the 90 percent design stage construction phasing plans from this summer to the fall of 2018. Construction during next school year will focus on tearing down the South Building end closest to Welch Community Pool, and building the foundations of the new school’s four classroom towers on the existing South Building parking lot.

    • Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik said that because of state recycling regulations, the demolition operations will be more “kind of peeling the building down as opposed to your old-fashioned wrecking ball slamming in and bricks flying.” Intensive efforts will be made to minimize noise and disruptions to students during demolition. Work also will be coordinated to avoid affecting standardized testing periods.

    • Plans have changed for the anticipated work during the January 2017 to May 2017 phase. Previous plans called for the two classroom towers nearest Welch Pool and part of the building’s core section to be ready for students that January, which would have allowed demolition of the upper part of the South Building. Revised plans show construction continuing in the towers, as well as the old South Building gym being used as a temporary cafeteria during the semester while the new cafeteria is built. Here are overviews of each of the construction phases through the fall of 2018.

    • Blasting will be performed on the South Building site this month and next to loosen bedrock for excavation. Four to six quick, controlled blasts, using protective mats to contain noise, vibrations and debris, will be done over three weeks. The first took place June 25.

    • The State High Project design team anticipates a delay in the project calendar of two to four weeks, due in part to revisions to the performing arts and gym sections during the 60 percent stage. At present, the calendar projects the bid award day for Sept. 16, with construction starting soon afterward. Under a 2-week delay, the new date would be Sept. 28. A 4-week delay would push the date to Oct. 12. The Board will hear an update at the July 13 meeting.

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  • Rock Blasting To Occur Through July

    caution sign with exclamation point Contractor RC Bowman this week will begin using subsurface blasting to loosen solid bedrock requiring excavation. Between this week and mid-July, depending on site conditions, five or six detonations will be done on the South Building grounds along the track side. The first took place on Thursday, June 25, at 2:30 p.m. Details:

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  • The State College Area School District's Community Forum for the 90% Design Review of the High School Project is now available to view online at

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  • caution sign with exclamation point Bike path to State High track

    Please use the bike path near Welch Community Pool to reach the high school track, and refrain from walking through the construction site. The bike path is indicated by red arrows. Thank you for your cooperation.

    aerial view of high school facilities with arrows pointing to bike path

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  • Updated website format highlights key information

    The State High Project website is evolving to better deliver timely information about construction, parking, traffic, project milestones and other news of interest. The familiar District template allows us to better highlight key topics now that the construction phase of the project has begun. If you have feedback about the website, please complete our comment form. Thank you!

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  • Project updates: June 8, 2015 Board Meeting

    • On June 8, State High Project design team members briefed the SCASD Board of Directors about the progress of the 90 percent stage. Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik joined Jeff Straub and Matt Harlow from the Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates architectural firm, and Tim Tones from Massaro Construction Management Services.

    • The North Building’s fundamental design, combining athletic facilities and the Delta Program, has not changed significantly since the 60 percent phase.

    • Most of the South Building floor plans have not changed from the end of the 60 percent phase. The biggest difference lies in the physical education/athletics section. Rendered as a rudimentary concept drawing at the 60 percent phase’s conclusion, it now has been refined into a formal floor plan showing hallways, a common meeting area leading to the auxiliary gym/wrestling room on the second floor, and a third-floor center that overlooks both the auxiliary and main gyms.

    • Since floor plans are fairly set now, the design team has been working on interior and exterior refinements, plumbing and utility systems, and details such as sheltering canopies over entrances. Work also is being done on stormwater retention ponds and landscaping around the South Building.

    • Design team members have met with Centre County Conservation District officials, a necessary step to allow topsoil removal, and with utility company officials about utility coordination during summer site work.

    • Tree clearing began May 22 to start building an access road to the rear of the South Building, which will become the main entrance in the fall while construction takes over the existing front parking lot. Poprik said that while some trees must be cut down, the campus will have a “net gain of trees” when construction is finished.

    • Design team members are continuing land development discussions with State College Borough planners, and hope for final approvals by mid-July.

    • A traffic study for around the State High campus is expected to be finished in the near future. Plans call for a Logan Avenue extension ultimately connecting South Atherton Street to Westerly Parkway at a four-way intersection with a traffic light, but design team members said traffic studies indicate it’s unlikely motorists will use the road heavily because of the difficult left turn onto Atherton.

    • Plans are in place to install flashing warning lights at the pedestrian crosswalks across Westerly to improve safety for students walking between the North and South buildings.

    • Board members said they wanted the design team to make sure exterior entrance signs would be large and high enough for visibility.

    • A State High Project 90 Percent Design Review will be held for the public 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, in the North Building auditorium. Breakout sessions will focus on the educational model and floor plan, the Delta Program, project financing, site plan and construction phasing, and the high school daily bell schedule.

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  • Project updates: May 18, 2015 Board Meeting

    • At its May 18 meeting, the State College Area School District Board of Directors approved giving district administrators the authority to make qualified field changes amounting up to $19,400 during the State High Project construction.

    • Board members approved the receipt of PlanCon Part E, Design Development, and PlanCon Part F, Construction Documents-Phased Bidding. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has approved both sets of documents.

    • The latest base project cost estimate from Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates, shared May 4, is $117,486,591, or 2.16 percent over the $115 million referendum budget. Here is a full breakdown of the estimate, including a list of current bid alternates.

    • The district will hold a State High Project 90 Percent Design Review for the public at 6 p.m. June 16 in the North Building auditorium.
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  • Project updates: May 11, 2015 Board Meeting

    • At a special meeting May 11, the State College Area School District Board of Directors voted 8-1 to accept the 60 percent design plans. Board member Laurel Zydney cast the opposing vote.

    • The Board’s approval advances the design process to the 90 percent phase, which is scheduled to end July 13. The project’s bid phase is scheduled for July 29-Aug. 25, with Sept. 16 the expected bid day.

    • The Board also voted unanimously to support redesigns in the performing arts and athletics/physical education areas of the South Building, as well as additions to the auditorium design, including acoustical shells and enhancements to the lighting and stage rigging systems.

    • Another Board approval removed a planned $1.3 million North Building kitchen for the Delta Program and District Food Services from the base bid budget and made it a bid alternate. The vote was 8-1 with Board member Jim Pawelczyk opposing. While the kitchen is seen as necessary, the shift will give the district more flexibility if project bids are unfavorable, allowing for the possibility that it could be constructed through a separate capital campaign.

    • A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. May 14 on the South Building grounds beside O’Bryan Lane.

    • Here is the latest 60 percent budget estimate.

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  • Project Partners

    Municipal Advisors: NW Financial Group, LLC

    Construction is underway, and the project is expected to be complete in 2018.

    A construction management team will be on the high school campus for the duration of the project.

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