School costs get trimmed

Board re­ceives list of $1.3 mil­lion in cost sav­ings for East Coven­try Ele­men­tary School

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Nancy March For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

SOUTH COVEN­TRY >> A month af­ter ap­prov­ing con­tracts for the $25 mil­lion East Coven­try Ele­men­tary School, the Owen J. Roberts School Board this week re­ceived a list of $1.3 mil­lion in cost sav­ings to bring the project closer to bud­get.

Ar­chi­tect Maryann Mar­rotta, of MM Ar­chi­tects Inc., de­tailed a long list of po­ten­tial sav­ings the board could en­act as change or­ders even be­fore con­tracts are ex­e­cuted and ground bro­ken on the new school.

They ranged from the size of the bricks us­ing less mor­tar to changes in roof de­sign elim­i­nat­ing sev­eral dorm­ers.

Some items re­sulted in sav­ings as mi­nor as $1,800 with oth­ers as sub­stan­tial as $84,000. Board mem­bers thanked the ar­chi­tects for com­ing up with a list that saves money with­out af­fect­ing square footage or learn­ing space. “This keeps the fo­cus on our kids,” while get­ting the costs down, said board mem­ber Kristina Bar­cus.

The to­tal was $1,080,449, with another $229,211 de­duc­tions, bring­ing the sav­ings to $1,309,660, dis­trict Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer Ja­clin Krum­rine said. That brought the variance to $1.4 mil­lion, com­pared to a $1.9 mil­lion dif­fer­ence be­tween the ap­proved bud­get for the project and the bids ap­proved last month.

Krum­rine said the $500,000 dif­fer­ence can be made up from the project con­tin­gency.

“We’re still wait­ing for the Pen­nDOT per­mit be­fore we can start con­struc­tion,” said Melissa Booth, board vice chair­man and chair­man of the Build­ing and Grounds Com­mit­tee. “Un­for­tu­nately, this weather would be ideal for shov­els in the ground,” but ground­break­ing can’t hap­pen un­til the per­mit comes through. “So if you know any­body at Pen­nDOT …” she said.

Booth gave an up­date on the com­pan­ion school project, East

Vincent, which is near com­ple­tion. “Dust is fly­ing, and every­one is scur­ry­ing” to put the fin­ish­ing touches on the build­ing.

Booth said the dis­trict will an­nounce a move-in date when it’s def­i­nite. “We don’t want to an­nounce a date ten­ta­tively and then have to change it,” she said.

The two school projects were orig­i­nally planned to oc­cur si­mul­ta­ne­ously but is­sues with East Coven­try land de­vel­op­ment and per­co­la­tion slowed the process. The project went out to bid in Au­gust.

Con­struc­tion started a year ago on the $22.9 mil­lion East Vincent project.

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