Elmwood Elementary School

Elmwood Elementary School in Mechanicsburg would be converted to a districtwide center for grades 4 and 5.

Sentinel file

The Mechanicsburg Area School Board has authorized a financial planning firm to secure funding for upcoming renovation and construction projects at Elmwood Elementary School and the Kindergarten Academy, as well as setting a date for accepting contractor bids for the kindergarten building.

On Tuesday night, the school board unanimously authorized Public Financial Management of Harrisburg to proceed with the issuance of general obligation bonds in the amount of $20 million that would go toward financing both projects, Assistant Superintendent Allan Vandrew said. PFM is expected to return with a bond purchase proposal for the school board’s consideration within the next several weeks.

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On Jan. 24, the school board awarded construction contracts totaling $1,019,780 for renovating the Elmwood Elementary building by the start of the 2018-19 school year. The building is being converted from its present status as a school for grades 1-5 to a districtwide center for grades four and five next year. To accommodate the change, the school district’s administration offices have been moved out of Elmwood’s second floor, which is being converted back into classrooms.

The district also plans to renovate and expand the Kindergarten Academy at Filbert Street to accommodate growing enrollment. A second floor built over the new classroom wing will house the district’s administration offices. The school district has listed a maximum cost of $17,048,904 for the Kindergarten Academy project. Of that, just over $10 million is allotted for new construction. The remainder is expected to go toward renovations, site work, financing and other related costs.

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The school board is scheduled to vote on construction contractor bids for the Kindergarten Academy/district offices project on March 13, Vandrew said. The overall project is slated for completion by the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Until then, the district’s offices have relocated to a rented site at 1225 S. Market St., Suite 1. School board meetings are being conducted at the district environmental center, 1731 S. York St., Upper Allen Township.

Also on Tuesday, the school board approved an easement agreement with Mechanicsburg Borough for stormwater improvements on borough property as part of the Kindergarten Academy project. The deal has been approved by the borough.

On Feb. 6, Mechanicsburg Borough Council accepted an agreement with the school district for a construction easement for a stormwater basin in Koser Park. The borough is giving the school district a portion of the land for the district to construct a drainage basin. The basin is being built at the district’s expense because it benefits the Kindergarten Academy.

Public school districts in Cumberland County

Finally on Tuesday, the school board approved a contract to replace the HVAC system at the Shiremanstown building. The board accepted a HVAC bid from Liebold Inc. for $563,200 and an electric bid from Pagoda for $144,443. Work will be conducted over the summer, Vandrew said.

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