Repair costs reduced by $358K
Phase one repairs to the former Birdsboro Elementary Center are now estimated at $600,000, said James R. Thompson, president of Thompson Associates Architects and Planners, Harrisburg.
That is a decrease of $358,000 from the estimate he presented to the Daniel Boone School Board on May 14.
Total phase one costs were $958,000, and the total project cost was $2.4 million.
The Daniel Boone Area School Board voted in June to close the school because of to low enrollment.
Instead of spending $69,473 to study the building’s capital needs and determine future repair costs, the board approved in January to not exceed
$30,000 to study the building’s masonry for future repair costs.
Roger Derr, senior vice president of the masonry restoration company, The Witmer Group, Mt. Joy, Lancaster County, and Josh Carney, president of the Carney Engineering Group Inc., York, studied the building’s deteriorating masonry and structural integrity.
The building’s masonry issues began with water infiltration through unsecured windows and cracks in the masonry.
That resulted in additional masonry cracking and deterioration that also rusted the building’s steel beams.
The major restoration projects include re-caulking many of the windows and doors, replacing brick veneer and relief irons, repointing existing veneer, replacing the flashing, repairing window jambs, removing some original masonry and removing and replacing damaged brick.
Other issues include mold remediation, updating the building’s environmental controls, and installing ADA compliant doors and an elevator.
After requesting from Thompson in May a list of “priority” repairs, he returned to the board in June with the estimate of $150,000 to $200,000 to seal and winterize the building.
Thompson’s other phase one repairs include restoring the gym ($403,000), and the east and north (upper) facades of the classroom wing ($555,000).
Thompson has now estimated phase one repairs to cost $600,000.
The board said at its Oct. 8 meeting that it will vote on Oct. 22 for Thompson to prepare bid specs to bid out the project in March.
Following that timeline, construction work would begin in May.
“We will adjust the scope of what we’re doing [in future phases] based on phase one,” said Thompson, adding, “The more we open up on the walls, the more we’ll learn.”
Phase two is to restore the facades of the rest of the classroom wing (west and south facades), estimated at $742,000.
Phase three is to restore the remaining facades (single story wings around the building’s perimeter), estimated at $694,000.
Thompson said a future building tenant may provide financial assistance with repairs or renovations.
Devin Blankenbiller, pastor of Abundant Life Church, 144 S. Walnut St., Birdsboro, said his congregation will vote Oct. 21 on the preliminary plan to lease some rooms two days a week.
The rooms would be used for weekly worship and church meetings.
Business Manager Kathleen Haines said the monthly rent would be $1,800 plus snow removal costs.
Blankenbiller said the church would add value to the building by renovating bathrooms, painting rooms, and installing new flooring.
The last day for students in the Birdsboro Elementary Center was June 12, 2018.
Repairs to the closed Birdsboro Elementary Center will cost less than Daniel Boone School District officials anticipated.