Carlisle High School

Carlisle High School

Sentinel file

Carlisle Area School District is looking to combine, for purposes of bidding, proposed projects to renovate the gym and two sets of restrooms within the McGowan building of Carlisle High School.

Director of Finance Shawn Farr outlined a plan Thursday where the district could receive bids in late January that could go before the school board property committee for review by early February.

Work on the gym could begin in April with completion by next November before the start of the 2018 boys and girls basketball season, Farr said. He said work on the restrooms could begin on June 4, the Monday after graduation, with completion expected in mid-August before start of the 2018-19 year.

Farr briefed the committee over the summer on the need to renovate restrooms within the McGowan building, along with the proposal to renovate much of the gym and parts of the adjoining lobby.

The committee in mid-September asked administrators to consider combining bidding for the two projects and to coordinate the timing to obtain the best possible results.

The current timeline calls for bid specifications to be advertised this month and bids to be opened on Jan. 24. Board member Gerald Eby said Thursday this schedule gives contractors plenty of time to think out their bids.

Gym project

The wood floor in the Gene Evans gym is original to the high school building, which opened in 1955. After 62 years, the floor has exceeded its projected useful life of 30 to 40 years, Farr said in September.

The plan is to install a new floor over the original floor, raising the level of the basketball court by 1.75 inches. Increasing the floor height would require the district to adjust the basketball hoops, which Farr described as “ancient by any standard.”

Instead of adjusting the backboards, hoops and supports, the plan is to replace the main baskets at either end of the full court and to replace and reduce the number of baskets along each side from the current three to two.

The gym has a drop ceiling that conceals HVAC air handler units that leak periodically due to condensation. The plan would remove the air handlers, replace the old units and relocate the HVAC hardware to flat sections of the roof on either side of the gym. The drop ceiling would be removed, leaving the beams and rafters exposed to be painted.

Other base bid items for the gym include replacement bleachers, an updated sound system, an improved scoreboard and replacement windows for natural lighting and to add shade.

District administrators have included two alternate bid proposals the board may include in its specifications. One would demolish and redo the boys and girls locker rooms, relocate and update the athletic training room and create an athletic storage area.

The other alternate bid would rework and update the lobby entrance to the gym, which may involve modifications to the award display cases. The second alternate would also create small areas for ticket counter and concession sales.

Restroom project

The McGowan building restrooms have fixtures, plumbing and tilework original to the building that have not been replaced or upgraded in over 60 years, Farr said in August. While the restrooms are functional and are in good shape, there is concern about future problems.

There are six sets of two restrooms each — one for boys, one for girls. The restrooms are side-by-side and share common plumbing built into the crawl space between the two rooms. Every time there is a leak or another problem, a maintenance worker would have to find it within the crawl space instead of an easily accessible location, which is the contemporary design.

The plan Farr outlined on Thursday calls for two sets of restrooms to be worked on during the summer when students are not in the building. One set of restrooms is next to the McGowan gym while the other set is on the far side of the school auditorium closest to the exit to the band parking lot.

Future projects would involve the renovation of the other four sets of restrooms.

Email Joseph Cress at


News Reporter

History and education reporter for The Sentinel.

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