Stor­age fa­cil­ity just over bud­get

Of­fi­cials say they’ve man­aged to keep as close as they can

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Eric Devlin ede­vlin@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Eric_Devlin on Twit­ter

PHOENIXVILLE >> As fin­ish­ing touches are put on the dis­trict’s new $3.1 mil­lion stor­age fa­cil­ity, which is ex­pected to re­ceive a cer­tifi­cate of oc­cu­pancy this week, bud­get to­tals show the project came in about less than half a per­cent over bud­get. Con­sid­er­ing the chal­lenges the project faced, the small bud­get ex­cess is an ac­com­plish­ment.

Con­struc­tion on the 20,000-square­foot fa­cil­ity, which will be used to store pa­per and cus­to­dial sup­plies, among other things, faced bud­getary headaches early on. When work first be­gan on the project lo­cated near the mid­dle school in early March, of­fi­cials soon re­ported that an ad­di­tional $200,000 of white clay needed to be ex­ca­vated be­fore the build­ing’s foun­da­tion could be laid. While the bud­get did in­clude a con­tin­gency of about $182,000 in case the project ran into un­ex­pected costs, the clay prob­lem used up that money by the sum­mer, ac­cord­ing to Stan John­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of op­er­a­tions.

“Over the course of the project we ran into ad­di­tional change or­ders that have all been re­viewed at public meet­ings,” John­son said.

Then in Au­gust, Schuylkill town­ship of­fi­cials in­formed the dis­trict it needed to in­crease the amount of wa­ter pres­sure head­ing into the build­ing’s sprin­kler sys­tem from 200 gal­lons per minute to 500 gal­lons per minute be­cause the fa­cil­ity will have high rack stor­age. The dis­trict wouldn’t have been able to reach that pres­sure level from the bor­ough wa­ter­line and the project would have been over bud­get by about $40,000, John­son said pre­vi­ously.

To ad­dress the prob­lem, the board agreed in Septem­ber to in­stall a new wa­ter line from the Phoenixville Early Learn­ing Cen­ter. It will re­ceive a $26,000 credit for no longer need­ing a sup­ple­men­tal fire pump in the build­ing. Plus an ad­di­tional $669 credit be­cause there’s no longer a need for elec­tric to be sup­plied to the pump. In ad­di­tion the dis­trict re­ceived a $36,600 credit choos­ing to use one of its em­ploy­ees to paint the in­te­rior of the build­ing. In to­tal, the dis­trict will re­ceive a credit of ap­prox­i­mately $64,000.

“Un­for­tu­nately due to is­sues with soil we are go­ing to be mod­estly over bud­get,” said board mem­ber Kevin Pat­tin­son.

While the dis­trict waits for its cer­tifi­cate of oc­cu­pancy from Schuylkill, crews have be­gun mov­ing sup­plies into the fa­cil­ity on palettes. Mean­while, John­son said the dis­trict will con­tinue to look for ways to keep bring­ing down costs.

“We’re do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to bring the project as close to bud­get as pos­si­ble,” he said.

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