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Press briefing: Special meeting of the Board of School Directors - August 31, 2015


Aug. 28, 2015


Chris Rosenblum

SCASD Director of Communications


SCASD Board of Directors to Review Final State High Project Cost Estimate

            At a special session Monday, Aug. 31, the State College Area School District Board of Directors will review the final State High Project estimate and revisions to the project calendar. Board members also will consider a resolution adjusting charter school subsidy payments in light of the state budget impasse.

State High Project 95 percent estimate

              Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, the project architect, has prepared the final project estimate, which comes to $129,441,575 at the 95 percent stage.

               The estimate breaks down as follows:

  • South Building — $94,203,098

  • North Building — $14,556,102

  • Soft costs — $18,772,675

  • SP15 project costs (summer site work) — $1,609,700

  • Traffic light costs — $300,000

    From the total project estimate, the district can subtract two state LEED grants, one for $2 million and the other for $1,935,393. As a result, the net cost to SCASD would be $125,506,182.

  • This would be $10,506,182 more than the project budget passed by referendum vote last year.

  • But the district’s net cost, as stated above, does not include an estimated $7,666,746 in expected PlanCon reimbursement from the state.


               The total project cost estimate includes program cost adjustments:

  • Mid-Level Delta Program — $5,786,970

  • PE Fitness Center/Auxiliary Gym to base bid — $2,965,200

  • Performing arts and miscellaneous additions — $2,285,215

  • Auditorium enhancements — $90,000

  • PennDOT traffic signal — $300,000

  • Miscellaneous soft costs and contingencies — $428,838

               Removing the North Building kitchen from the base bid subtracted $1,224,992 from the estimate.

               Additionally, plans include $7,391,157 in alternates.

               For further details, please see the full project estimate summary, including alternates, as well as a comparison between 60 percent estimates and 95 percent estimates for the project.

State High Project calendar update

The State High Project team will present a revised project calendar to the Board. Under the latest schedule, the bid opening date has been moved up to Nov. 5.

This would place the bid award date on Nov. 16.

  • A schedule revision outlined for the Board on Aug. 10 called for a Nov. 10 bid opening date and a Nov. 23 bid award date.

  • In case of complications, a contingency plan establishes Nov. 19 as bid opening date and Nov. 30 as the bid award date.

Charter school subsidy payments

District administrators will recommend that the Board adopt a resolution reducing tuition payments to charter schools until the Commonwealth resolves its budget impasse.

The district’s recommendation is to lower the payments by 18 percent — equal to the percentage of the district’s revenue from state sources.

One other district in the state has chosen this option while the budget is being negotiated. Once a budget is attained, SCASD would resume full payments to charter schools.

The Pennsylvania School Board Association’s General Counsel has written an opinion in support of the action.

“In short, when the Commonwealth stops paying its bills, it is inevitable that school districts might have to put off paying some of theirs,” General Counsel Stuart Knade wrote in the opinion to the PSBA.