Return to Headlines

Special meeting of the Board of School Directors - Oct. 5, 2015


Oct. 5, 2015


Chris Rosenblum

SCASD Director of Communications


SCASD Board of Directors Approves

State High Project Construction Documents

   On Monday during a special meeting, the State College Area School District Board of Directors drew closer to starting the main State High Project construction by unanimously approving the design documents for bid day.
   “It’s a big step,” Board President Amber Concepcion said.
   The 9-0 vote means that a bid opening date of Nov. 5 now can be advertised publicly. On Nov. 9, the district administration and the Board will review the bids, then Board members will vote on accepting the bids at a special meeting Nov. 16.
   “I can speak for the entire (project) team in saying we’re confident the documents are ready and we’re anxious to start the bidding calendar,” Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik said before the vote.
   The meeting capped a week of intensive discussions involving Crabtree Rohrbaugh and Associates architects, Massaro Construction Management Services staff and the district administrators as they pored over the final documents, answered lingering questions and addressed concerns. On Thursday, Oct. 1, the entire project team gathered for a collaborative review.
   “The level of detail in these drawings is pretty amazing,” board member Jim Pawelczyk said to Poprik, Jeff Straub from CRA and Tim Jones and Dan Kiefer from MCMS. “Great job, guys.”
   Board members joined Pawelczyk in thanking the project team representatives for their recent effort down the home stretch. Kiefer said “thousands and thousands” of hours were devoted to preparing the documents for bid — a process Concepcion likened to applying the proverbial “fine-toothed comb.”
   “It’s nice that we can put it out to bid and move on from there,” board member Dorothea Stahl said. “I appreciate all the extra hours put in.”
   Poprik said seven bid packages will be awarded for the main project. He expressed optimism about the bid prospects.
   “Literally for the past six or seven months, we’ve been monitoring the construction market,” Poprik said. “That and the size of the packages will be the right combination for the project.”
   Though she voted to approve the construction documents, board member Laurel Zydney said beforehand that she was worried “about the direction of this building in terms of the fewer number of traditional classrooms” than what had been originally planned in the educational specifications for the project.
   “To me, the relationship that happens between the teacher and a student in a classroom is really very much the essence of high school,” she said, adding later, “I’m still concerned about the moves we’ve made. At this point, we should see how much it’s going to cost and take it from there.”
   The Board also unanimously approved the submission of PlanCon Part G forms for state reimbursement for this year’s summer site work and PlanCon Part F reimbursement forms for the main bid of the construction project.
   Superintendent Bob O’Donnell concluded the meeting by praising Poprik for his leadership during the design process.
   “You’ve really hung in there and been a true problem-solver, bringing a lot of people together,” O’Donnell said, seconds before the Board gave Poprik a round of applause. “I just wanted to make a note of that.”