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Press briefing: Regular meeting of the Board of School Directors - July 27, 2015


Sara Brennen
SCASD Website and Social Media Coordinator

SCASD Board of Directors To Vote On State High Project 90 Percent Plans;

District To Brief Board on Summer Site Work Extension Request

On Monday, July 27, the State College Area School District Board of Directors will vote on accepting the State High Project 90 percent floor plans, as well as discuss a request from the summer site work contractor for a time extension and hear the district’s proposal for a development office and strategy. Board members also will hear an update about the district’s Learning Enrichment Services.

90 percent approval

At this stage of the State High Project, accepting the latest 90 percent floor plan documents will establish the final building configuration and allow work on the MEP drawings (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) to be completed.
Floor plans include changes based on comments received during the 90 percent review, which included input from administrative and instructional staff, as well as board members. One revision was to the early childhood care program area design. 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 — both intended to give the district more flexibility to convert the spaces to general classrooms if necessary.
The design team expects to present an updated estimate to the Board on Aug. 24. Alternates will be discussed at the Aug. 10 and Aug. 24 meetings. On Aug. 31 after the reviews, the Board is scheduled to vote on approving the final construction documents, including which alternates to put out to bid. Alternate selection will occur on bid approval day, currently planned for Oct. 19.

Extension request

R.C. Bowman, the contractor for the summer construction project, has requested an extension for completing work that includes building a loop access road to the back of the South Building. Because of delays due to heavy rain this season, the company is asking that the original completion date of Aug. 27 change to Sept. 17. While the contract with the district allows for weather-related schedule delays, the State High Project team is reviewing the request. Team members think an extension would have minimal or no impact on the overall project, but it could affect school operations at the start of the fall semester. Consequently, the project team is planning to meet with the contractor and high school administrators and determine how best to adjust to potential delays. At Monday’s meeting, project team members will provide an update about the situation.

Development office

The district administration has been working with board leadership, board finance committee members and Citizens Advisory Committee for Finance members to prepare a proposal for hiring a person to identify and pursue fundraising opportunities and assist in creating an educational foundation for facilitating gifts, donations and grants. Business Administrator Randy Brown will outline the proposal for the Board and provide an update on the search for an individual to create development strategies, lead campaigns and attract philanthropy. The proposal includes contracting with an outside organization that specializes in campaign and donor operations management. The 2015-16 district budget allocates $120,000 for development. For details, please see the full proposal.

Learning Enrichment Services update

Superintendent Bob O’Donnell and Jeanne Knouse, director of Learning Enrichment/Gifted Support and Student Services, will share an update of the district’s Learning Enrichment Services. Their presentation will detail the progress made following the 2014-15 LE priorities established by a University of Virginia evaluation, and will include priorities for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years as well as timelines for achieving them. For details, please see the full report.

Change orders for Panorama Village Project

As part of the routine approvals, the Board will vote on approving nine change orders for the Panorama Village Renovation project, which is creating district administrative offices in the former elementary school near Boalsburg.
The change orders, the highest of which is $6,594.50, are for necessary repairs or additions, mostly stemming from discoveries made during construction. They represent a little less than 5 percent of the project’s General Trades contract and will not change the project’s scope.
For descriptions and costs of the orders, please see the administration memo for the meeting.