The Mechanicsburg Area School Board approved contracts and secured financing on Tuesday night for an upcoming major renovation and expansion project at the Kindergarten Academy at Filbert Street.
The district plans to renovate and expand the Kindergarten Academy to accommodate growing enrollment. Meanwhile, the district’s administration offices will relocate to a second floor to be built over the kindergarten building’s new classroom wing. The project is slated for completion by the start of the 2019-20 school year.
The school board approved these contracts totaling $14,445,915 for the Kindergarten Academy:
General construction — eci Construction, LLC, Dillsburg, $10,355,700;
HVAC construction — J & S Fabrication, Grantville, $1,254,000;
Plumbing construction — Stouffer Mechanical, Chambersburg, $937,704;
Electrical construction — McCarty & Son, Ephrata, $1,816,192;
Asbestos construction — Sargent Enterprises, Jim Thorpe, $82,319.
Finalized bids came in about 2.8 percent less than the overall project budget, said J. Brian Haines of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates architects, Mechanicsburg. “I think the results are all very positive. The bidders are all premium contractors in this area. I think it’s going to be a very exciting project and we’re looking forward to it,” Haines told the school board on Tuesday.
The school board also adopted a resolution on Tuesday that authorizes the issuance of a 25-year general obligation bond, series of 2018, in the amount of $19,995,000 from Citigroup. The bond’s interest rate is is 3.22 percent, said Brad Remig of Public Financial Management, Harrisburg.
The funds are intended to finance the Kindergarten Academy work and renovations at Elmwood Elementary School. On Jan. 24, the school board awarded construction contracts totaling $1,019,780 for the Elmwood project. 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 by the start of the 2018-19 school 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.
Tuesday’s bond issuance is the district’s second phase of borrowing for planned renovations and/or expansions to all district buildings over next several years. In October 2017, the school board authorized the issue of a 25-year general obligation bond, series of 2017, in the amount of $9,930,000 with an average interest rate of 3.04 percent. These funds were slated to finance a portion of the Kindergarten Academy project.
The school board also approved the transfer of $1.5 million from the district’s general fund to its capital reserve fund. The transfer was the result of “more revenues than expenses,” school board member and finance committee chair John Rupp said on Tuesday. District administrators recommended the transfer “to further offset costs related to upcoming elementary (building) renovations,” according to finance committee meeting minutes.
Even though the district already is buzzing with projects, there’s still more to come, Haines said. Officials plan to open contractor bids for exterior work at Elmwood Elementary on March 27, followed by an opening of bids for asbestos abatement at Shepherdstown Elementary and Upper Allen Elementary schools on April 2.
In August 2017, the school board authorized architects to design renovations and expansions to Broad Street Elementary School, Northside Elementary School, Shepherdstown Elementary School and Upper Allen Elementary School. All will be reconfigured as buildings for grades 1, 2 and 3 at the start of the 2018-19 school year. The schools presently house grades 1-5.