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Press briefing: Regular meeting of the Board of School Directors — Feb. 8, 2016


Feb. 5, 2016


Chris Rosenblum

SCASD Communications Director

(814) 272-8699

SCASD Board of School Directors To Vote

On Trimming State High Project Cost

On Monday, Feb. 8, the State College Area School District Board of School Directors will vote on whether to trim more than $152,000 from the State High Project cost by eliminating a rainwater harvesting system.

The Board also will vote on applying for exceptions to the Act I Index limit for property taxes to continue the State High Project referendum debt service.

State High Project rainwater harvesting system

            The State High Project construction team is recommending that the Board approve a change order that would delete a $152,300 rainwater harvesting system from the South Building plans.

             As called for, the system would store rainwater collected from the roof and use it as “gray water” for flushing toilets. But according to the team’s assessment, the system is not needed to achieve LEED Gold status, and in any case, would not pay for itself in water savings.

             At present, the State High Project has 72 LEED points, placing it squarely in the 60-79 Gold range.

Also drawing on experience with the Mount Nittany Elementary and Ferguson Township Elementary building projects, the team believes the system can be eliminated to help reduce the State High Project’s cost.

Act I Index exceptions

            The district administration will ask the Board for authorization to apply for the maximum amount of Act 1 Index exceptions in the 2016-2017 budget.

            To apply for exceptions, the district must tax its full Act I Index, or 2.4 percent. The Act I Index of 2006 allows a district to increase the real estate tax rate beyond the index if residents have approved an electoral debt referendum.

The Board will be voting on whether to apply for $1,760,579 in exception tax revenue.

If the Board does not apply for the exception by the Feb. 11 deadline, it forfeits the opportunity for the rest of the budget process. But a vote to apply does not commit the Board to taking the full exception. During the process leading up to the final budget vote, board members may choose to take all, some or none of the exception.

The 2016-2017 school year will be the second year of debt service for the referendum debt.


Value engineering change orders discussion

           Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik will review several potential value engineering change orders that could lower the State High Project cost by more than $1.8 million if accepted.

          Monday’s discussion will focus on Group A items. These are:

  • substituting the manufacturer of exterior metal panels and the way they’re attached, keeping the same look for the South Building, $130,000.

  • substituting the flat roof adherence system from “fully adhered” to a “Rhinobond system, keeping the roof and warranty as before but changing the way it’s fastened, $100,000.

  • including new roofing in lieu of restoration for sections, taking advantage of a credit from a contractor to remove and replace the sections to match the rest of the building, $116,000.

  • allowing the roofing subcontractor to fabricate the metal roof edge instead of purchasing it as part of the roofing system, but retaining the same warranty, $44,000.

  • substituting a low-profile, base-mounted curb instead of a full-depth formed curb, following the example of many district projects, most recently the Panorama Village Building, $89,000.

  • eliminating special drain piping in science labs that would prevent accelerated corrosion from acids dumped in sinks, an older science lab requirement not needed in contemporary operating procedures, $64,000.

  • substituting aluminum conductors in place of copper ones for larger wire sizes, $135,000.

The total Group A net savings is $678,000. Board members will be asked to take action on the Group A change orders on Feb. 22. Poprik also will review a Group B of change orders that, all told, yield $985,000 in net savings.  Those are expected to come up for vote March 14.

Including the rainwater harvesting system under consideration, the total net savings of the proposed value engineering change orders is $1,815,800.

2015-2016 District Priorities

Superintendent Bob O’Donnell will review and discuss an update of the district’s 2015-2016 priorities.