State College

School board reviews State High plan revisions

On Monday night, the State College Area school board reviewed revisions made by Massaro Construction Management Services to phasing plans for the State High project.

Among other planned work, phase 1.1 of the project, which is scheduled to span June through August, will see the construction of a temporary main building entrance and a permanent bus way and student pathway.

Bid award day for the State High project, originally projected for Sept. 16, may be subject to a two-week or four-week delay. Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik attributed the potential delay in part to the preparation of construction documents and the recent redesign of the new gym space.

During the July 13 board meeting, Poprik said that members will be presented with a new calendar that will determine whether the delay will span two or four weeks.

Still, progress marches onward.

Massaro’s Tim Jones said that subsurface blasting could begin as soon as Thursday in the area between the track and the future home of the new State High parking lot.

Rocks were discovered underneath the surface and Jones said that blasting will be faster and less disruptive than attempting to hammer them from the ground.

The current plan is to have one blast every other day, with a total of five or six blasts occurring.

New SCESPA contract approved

The board voted to approve a four-year contract with the State College Educational Support Personnel Association.

Board member Jim Pawelczyk cast the only dissenting vote in a 7-1 decision that arrived after months of negotiations and will retroactively span July 2014 to June 2018.

“It represents the culmination of many months of respectful discussions and will serve both the district and the association’s dedicated, hard-working members well in the coming years,” board president Amber Concepcion said.

SCESPA represents district support staff, including secretarial, clerical and paraprofessionals occupying 360 full-time and part-time positions.

Under the new contract, a salary freeze will be in effect for 2014-2015 before a salary increase kicks in during the remaining three years of the agreement.

Members of SCESPA voted to accept the contract June 15.

“We are grateful to conclude the process after 18 months of negotiating and would like to thank the district’s team for their new collaborative way of negotiating,” Shelbi Smeltzer and Trish Storch, SCESPA co-presidents, said.

Other business

• The board unanimously voted to approve a resolution to invest State High referendum bond proceeds with Fulton Bank and First National Bank. During a June 8 meeting, the board had approved $44.3 million investment with Fulton Bank and a $20 million investment with First National Bank.

•  The board unanimously voted to award the structural assessments of the Fairmount Avenue Building and district central office to Weber Murphy Fox for $13,000, the lowest bid among six submissions.

Next meeting

7 p.m. July 13 in the boardroom, 131 W. Nittany Ave., State College