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Carlisle Area School District

Pictured is the entrance to Carlisle High School.

Sentinel file

Demolition work could begin in April on an overhaul of the McGowan building gym and adjoining lobby at Carlisle High School.

The Carlisle Area School Board could vote March 15 on whether to award $3.1 million in contracts for extensive renovations that include the total replacement of the gym floor and substructure down to its concrete base.

The goal is to complete the work by late September prior the start of the 2018 basketball season, said Shawn Farr, district director of finance. Work on the floor will be timed toward the end of the project along with the replacement of the bleachers.

When completed, the renovated McGowan gym would have less seating capacity because of the need to remove the first one or two rows of bleachers on both the home and visitor sides, Farr said. The current layout has no room for a buffer zone between the front row of bleachers and the line marking the main basketball court.

“When players stand up, they are right on the court,” Farr said. He added that, due to the timing of the project, the boys volleyball team will play its home games at Wilson Middle School. The project could also displace the girls volleyball team during the early part of its fall 2018 season.

Arrangements are being made to accommodate physical education classes that would be displaced by the demolition work in the McGowan gym and lobby. “We figured out how we can make it work,” Farr said. He said students have access to fitness centers in the Swartz and McGowan buildings as well as the gymnasium in the Swartz building.

The wood floor in the gym is original to the high school building, which opened in 1955. Bids were received to price out the removal, repair or replacement of the top three layers of wood flooring. The pricing was so favorable district staff recommended total replacement to cut out the guesswork and keep the floor at its current level, Farr said. Other options would have lifted the floor level by one and a half inches and led to complications.

Other work

Aside from the floor and bleachers, the work includes the demolition and reconstruction of the boys and girls locker rooms. The drop ceiling will be removed, uncovering HVAC hardware that will be replaced and relocated from the ceiling to flat sections of the roof on either side of the gym.

A bid alternate involved reworking and updating the lobby entrance to the gym, including the award display cases. There are also plans to convert a storage room into a concessions sales booth with product storage.

The school board property committee reviewed the recommended bids Thursday. The total construction cost based on those bids is $3,168,507, but there will be additional costs for the architect, engineering, permits, contingency and equipment.

Farr will present a complete project budget at the April 12 property committee meeting. The board will be asked to pass a motion to allocate money from the district’s unassigned fund balance toward the McGowan gym project.

Board president Paula Bussard asked Thursday whether the renovated gym will include room for cheerleaders to change into their gear to support a game. Right now, the cheerleaders have to use a women’s restroom.

“We will be gaining an extra team room,” said George Null, district athletic director, referring to the work that will be done to reconfigure and reconstruct the locker room spaces.

Bussard also asked if any upgrades would be made to the gym sound system. It can be difficult for spectators to hear announcements during games and for students to hear presentations during large assemblies, she said. The project includes an upgraded sound system.

Proposed bids

Though two companies submitted a base bid and alternate bids for general construction, East Coast Contracting of Wilmington, North Carolina, withdrew its submission on March 1, the day after bids were opened.

As a result, district staff recommends the board award a $1,802,350 contract to eciConstruction of Dillsburg. This consists of a base bid of $705,000 along with the following bid alternates:

  • $694,000 for locker room renovations
  • $198,700 for gym floor replacement down to the concrete base
  • $197,000 for lobby and concessions renovations
  • $7,650 for team room renovations

East Coast submitted a higher base bid of $713,700 and a higher alternate bid of $212,000 for lobby and concessions renovations. However, the company submitted lower alternate bids of $470,000 for the locker room renovations and $114,000 for gym floor replacement down to the concrete.

Four companies submitted bids for mechanical work, including Shannon A. Smith Inc. of Myerstown, Lebanon County, which had the low base bid of $436,640 and the low alternate bids of $340,000 for locker room renovations, $14,000 for the lobby ceiling and $7,000 for the lobby and concessions renovation work.

Five companies submitted bids for plumbing, including Stouffer Mechanical Contractor of Chambersburg, which submitted a low alternate bid of $109,000 for locker room renovation work and $5,900 for lobby and concessions renovation work.

Two companies submitted proposals for electrical work with MidState Mechanical and Electrical of Dillsburg having the low base bid of $289,445 and the low alternate bids of $114,268 for the locker rooms renovations and $49,904 for the lobby and concession renovation work.


In related business, the board property committee reviewed bids Thursday for the renovation of two sets of restrooms in the McGowan building. The low bids total $194,379, but like the gym project, there will be additional costs.

Last August, the board rejected $207,500 in bids for one set of restrooms in the McGowan building. The board decided this winter to rebid, but bundle the work for two sets of restrooms in the hopes of getting a better overall price.

Committee chairman Brian Guillaume said he attended the Feb. 28 bid opening and was pleased with the numbers. The low bids for this project are: $124,411 for general construction submitted by WSL Inc. of New Bloomfield, Perry County; $46,950 for plumbing by Frantz Plumbing of Biglerville, Adams County; $18,118 for electrical work by MidState Mechanical Electrical of Dillsburg; and $4,900 for mechanical work by Stouffer Mechanical Contractor of Chambersburg.

McGowan has six sets of two restrooms each, one for males, one for females. The fixtures, plumbing and tile work are original to the 1955 building. The restrooms are side-by-side and share common plumbing built into the crawl space between them. While the restrooms are functional, administrators and board members are concerned about the potential for future problems.

The board could vote March 15 on whether to approve $194,379 in contracts to renovate a set of restrooms near the school auditorium and a set near the gym.


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