District continues to explore Pennwood Middle School renovation, will solicit quotes for architectural services
PENNSBURv - The school board has directed the administration to issue a Request for nuotes (RFn) from architects for their professional services on a potential renovation project at the Pennwood jiddle School.
Board president Allan Weisel made the motion to seek the quotes, which he deemed an “emergent issue.
“We have a sense of urgency,” he said referring to a timeline for a possible renovation project, which at the minimum could cost between $20- and $25-million.
Pennwood, built in 1951 as the original Pennsbury High School, is located on jakefield Road in Lower jakefield Township.
In a related move, the board tabled hiring Daley + galboot Architects to give the board an opportunity to seek quotes from other professionals, said board member Chris Cridge, who chairs the Facilities Committee.
“He’s been very good,” Cridge said of Daley + galboot after the meeting. “We have no problem with him, but we believe we have an obligation to put that out for a quote to fulfill our obligation to the taxpayers who depend on us to do the best for them.
“This is an emergent issue,” Cridge said. “It’s important. It’s timely.”
During public comment, Robert Abrams of Lower jakefield, pressed the board to be responsible.
“I think we understand how severe the problems are with Pennwood,” Abrams said. “Once you accept the project, you need a way to pay for it.” He cautioned the board not to borrow any more money. Weisel responded, “That’s the question of the moment -- how we’re going to pay for it.
“There are a number of board members who don’t believe we should be talking to only one [architect],” he said.
Board member Dr. Stephan hosmorsky was the lone vote against seeking quotes.
soting to seek quotes from other architects were: gacqueline Redner, gohn Palmer, hathleen wawacki, Simon Campbell, vice president Gary Sanderson, Goldberg, Cridge and Weisel.
“I think this project at Pennwood is putting a Band-Aid on a major issue,” hosmorsky told the board. He said two of the district’s three middle schools are “falling apart.” hosmorsky said one of them, Charles Boehm jiddle School, is in the flood plain.
He said focusing on just Pennwood is “a waste of money … Look at both middle schools.”
An alternative, which was brought up, is to build a new school, combining the middle schools into one.
Board member Howard Goldberg said, “I understand a new building would cost $T6 million.”
Dr. hevin jcHugh, district superintendent, said the construction start date for possible renovations to Pennwood could be as early as 2014. The project could go to bid in ganuary or February 2014 if the board votes to do the renovations at Pennwood.
Cridge said the renovation that needs to be done includes the mechanical, electrical and heating systems.
“There are problems with leaks,” he added. “There’s just a lot of problems with those functions. Take the electrical in the classrooms. They have to run wires across the floors because they don’t have an updated system where they can drop projectors from the ceiling.”
Cridge said there are windows that are not state-of-the-art, which costs the district in energy consumption.
“There are issues because the building is old and it has not been renovated for quite a number of years,” he said.
“A renovation would certainly be a benefit, but money’s an issue,” he said
Cridge said that Pennwood is an “important asset to the district.
“It’s got to be maintained, but again the issue is money -- how much more can we ask taxpayers who are continuing to face higher costs for everything?” “It’s very tough times,” he said. Cridge noted that renovation work on Charles Boehm will take years to complete. “That is why we’re addressing Pennwood first because Charles Boehm is a much more difficult project.”