State College

State High project faces delay

The State High project is facing potential delays that could push the estimated completion date as far back as spring 2019.

During a previous meeting in July, Ed Poprik, director of physical plant, had notified the State College Area school board that progress had fallen behind on the new building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing documents.

On Monday, Poprik recommended that the board change the initial presentation of the construction documents from the regular meeting on Aug. 24 to a special session scheduled for Aug. 31.

The extra time will help Massaro Construction Services generate a more accurate estimate.

“Getting this right is everyone’s priority at this point,” Poprik said.

Once the final documents are presented on Aug. 31, Massaro will require an additional four weeks to complete an estimate and review the final documents for code compliance.

The new schedule would tentatively push the awarding of bids more than a month from the currently scheduled date of Oct. 19 to Nov. 23.

Completion of the project, which was originally scheduled for September 2018, would likely be pushed anywhere from four to eight months.

More immediate delays addressed on Monday involved the construction of a looped road to the back of the South Building, which will eventually become the primary entrance once the front of the structure is closed off for work.

Construction initially faced delays caused by excessive rain in June, diminished progress that Poprik said they hoped to compensate for in July.

Instead, the construction team encountered soft soils that were not firm enough to be paved or stoned.

The project was originally scheduled to wrap up by the first day of school but Poprik said that completion will now most likely occur in mid- to late September, a delay that could end up costing about $175,000 more than the original bid of $1.6 million.

Until the project is finished, use of the front parking lot, main entrance and current bus loop is expected to continue.

The board also approved the administration’s recommendation to appoint State High Associate Principal Curtis Johnson as interim principal.

Johnson will step in for Scott DeShong, who will be departing the school district later this month to become the new principal at Avon Grove High School in West Grove.

“We’ll wish Scott and his family well and obviously we’ll miss him,” Superintendent Bob O’Donnell said.