State College Area school board gets update on high school project

sannarelli@centredaily.comJuly 14, 2014 

— State College Area School District Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik gave the school board an update on the high school project Monday that included short-term and long-range plans.

Borings and other tests are scheduled to be completed this summer, preferably before the school band begins to practice, Poprik said. If results of those tests do not have an impact on the scope or budget of the project, he said, he would update the board outside of a board meeting.

At the school board’s regular meeting Monday night, Poprik said traffic study by Engineers and Landscape Architects Group are set to begin in August to determine where project designers will place four-way intersections on Westerly Parkway. The study could not begin earlier this summer because of traffic flow changes during the school year.

Poprik said an initial meeting between the core project team — Massaro Construction Management Services, Crabtree Rohrbaugh and Associates and the school district — took place July 3 and will continue on a biweekly basis. The team will plan items to discuss at the next school board meeting, July 28.

The project team will offer an update on plans for the project, a presentation of two project calendars and a construction management update. One project calendar will be a graphic overview of the project; the other will be more detailed report of all of the project’s activities.

The construction management update will include a draft contract for MCMS, which agreed to work on a contingent basis as details of the contract are finalized.

The design team will then update the board during the preconstruction phase at 30 percent, 60 percent and 90 percent milestones.

Poprik said that when 30 percent of the planning phase is complete, likely in September, the team will present those blueprints and documents to the board.

“Once it’s issued and published it will be 30 percent complete, and that isn’t going to change,” Poprik said. “Our task is to assemble all of the comments on it to go back to the design team to integrate them into the 60 percent documents for changes.”

Poprik was also part of a group of project leaders who gave a presentation at the State College Municipal Building before the school board meeting.

Poprik, Matt Harlow, of ELA Group, and Jeff Straub, of Crabtree Rohrbaugh, outlined the general designs and goals of the future high school at the workshop. The project leaders showed several potential enhancements to improve traffic flow and parking around the school. Part of the current problem, Straub said, is the multiple bus stages. Designs call for buses to pick up and drop off at the back of the new campus to avoid traffic congestion between the two campuses.

Designers also have explored options for four-way intersections with stop lights between the two campuses, but they do not know where they would be. The goal, Harlow said, would be to place four-way intersections on Westerly Parkway to improve safety for students crossing the street and to provide better traffic flow.

Project leaders cannot begin to make decisions on those options until the traffic study is complete.

The project leaders discussed other goals, such as improving stormwater management, enhancing Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility throughout the campus and maintaining and enhancing physical education and athletic facilities.

Shawn Annarelli can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @shawn_annarelli.

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