Weatherly Area schools to get study, upgrades
A Harrisburg architectural and engineering fir m is evaluating conditions at Weather ly Area school facilities as officials consider upgrading boiler systems at the high school and middle school, district officials said.
The district hired EI Associates, a fir m that provides architectural, engineering and construction services, to perform a feasibility study at the schools, Superintendent Teresa Young said.
The report consists of exterior and interior evaluations of school buildings, a site evaluation, as well as reviews of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, plumbing fixtures, electrical systems, code evaluations and miscellaneous upgrades, she said.
Each component was ranked by number, with lower numbers re presenting higher-priority upgrades, Young said.
The study cost $5,000 and could lead to the first renovations performed at the elementary/ middle school since 1990.
“The study takes into account all scenarios so that it gives the district and school board the flexibility in determining what it wants done but the bulk of what has been proposed to the board and what the board is considering is … HVAC, electrical, pluming and bringing the building up to code ,” Young noted Wednesday in an email.
The district would have to either float a bond or secure a loan to pay for the work, if the school board opts to move forward with study recommendations, she said.
Representatives from EI Associates will present information to the school board in December, she said.
The architectural firm was asked to complete the study after officials determined that aged boiler sat both the high school and middle school are in need of replacement, school board President Girard Fewins Sr. said.
While the firm was examining boilers, they prepared a study based on other items that they believe could be addressed to bring Weatherly Area schools into compliance with current accessibility standards, Fewins said.
“When you get into some bigger stuff with the boilers, ADA (compliance) comes into play ,” Few ins said. “Once you take a loan for a certain amount, other things have to be looked at, too.”
At this point, officials don’t have a cost for replacing boiler systems at both schools but Few ins said those projects would be a priority if the board opts to move forward.
“We almost lost two days last year at the high school because the boilers weren’t running,” he said.
Prices also hinge on whether the district would opt to replace its oil burner systems with either gas or oil systems, he said.
“A decision has to be made amongst us what’s going to be best,” Fewins said.
The boiler system at the high school dates to 1990, when the building was built, while the system that heats the elementary/middle school is older by an estimated 20 to 30 years, Fewins said.
School directors haven’t settled on a work scope or discussed financing at this point, Fewins added.
EI Associates, which also has of fices in New Jersey and Delaware, is involved in 35 public school projects throughout its service area, according to the company’s website.
Some of the work includes high school upgrades at Bensalem Twp. School District, middle school projects at Carlisle Area School District, construction of a new elementary school in Manheim Central School District and elementary school projects at Tri-Valley School District.
The firm also over saw construction projects undertaken at a number of colleges and universities, as well as athletic facility improvements.
Weatherly Area School Board is spending $5,000 for a feasibility study that could lead to the first renovations performed at the district’s elementary/middle school since 1990.