State College

Adding Delta program wing could add $6.5 million to State High project

New costs could be added to the State High project next week when the State College Area school board votes whether to approve 30 percent complete design plans.

It is likely the board will approve the plans to avoid the costs of redoing them. The project’s design team will also take into account the suggestions and concerns they’ve received in the past month from the community, teachers, students and board for the 60 percent complete design plans.

The project’s design team asked the board Monday during a work session to add about $6.5 million to the $115 million budget for the addition of the mid-level Delta program in its Nov. 10 vote.

It is already in the project’s budget for 20,000 square feet to be added to the State High North Building for the Delta program’s academic wing. The additional $6.5 million would add 32,000 more square feet to that expansion.

Ed Poprik, the district’s director of physical plant, told the board it would be better to add it to the budget now, because it could be taken out of the project, along with the added $6.5 million cost, later.

The alternative, trying to add the increased expansion into design plans later, would be difficult.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates, the project’s architects, and Massaro Construction Management Services, the project manager, also presented independent estimated costs for the project to the board.

The firms’ estimates — CRA estimated $118 million and MCMS estimated $124 million — were each over the project’s $115 million budget.

Poprik told the board the differential isn’t a concern.

The firms will also provide cost estimates at the 60 and 90 percent complete design reviews.

The board also discussed approving a planning and construction workbook, or PlanCon, application at its Nov. 10 meeting. The school district could receive between $5 million and $6 million through PlanCon funding, but a backlog of school districts waiting for PlanCon funding could cause a delay in funding for the State High project.

The core project team does not believe the backlog of PlanCon funding would impact the project’s timeline, because land development and permit procedures should take longer than PlanCon’s process.

CRA completed a districtwide feasibility study, which detailed conditions of each district facility to illustrate that the State High project is its greatest need, for a PlanCon application if the board approves it.

The school district would pay CRA up to $59,000 to apply for PlanCon. If the district did not receive PlanCon funding, however, CRA would owe the district a $25,000 rebate.