On Monday evening, the State College Area school board voted to award the bids for the Panorama Village building renovation project.
Entering its final phase, the project would complete the conversion of the former elementary school into office space. The building will replace the Central Office Building at 131 W. Nittany Ave. and will house all of the district administrative offices.
The administration put forward a selection of low bids in areas including general contracting, mechanical and HVAC, plumbing and electrical contracting for the board’s consideration. Those bids totaled more than $1.4 million.
The board also voted on the next portion of potential change orders to the State High project directed toward lowering the costs of construction.
During a meeting Feb. 22, the board voted to approve the first set of substitutions, which totaled $678,000 in savings for alterations such as utilizing a contractor credit to install new roofing in sections of the South Building rather than apply restoration coatings.
On Monday evening, the board reviewed potential change orders ranging from changing the flooring manufacturer and product for the South Building fitness center to replacing concrete with a green space in the amphitheater area.
Of the approximately $1,025,170 in potential substitutions that the board reviewed and voted upon, it approved $839,170 worth.
The vote to accept a change that would substitute the proposed stone veneer at the South Building, Westerly Parkway side, with a ground-face concrete masonry unit block was split four to four. That item will be revisited at a later meeting.
A similar alteration that would have seen the same ground-face concrete masonry unit substitution made to the South Building on the bus loop side was voted against.
The discussion surrounding both of those items revolved mainly around the value of aesthetics versus cost.
Board member Gretchen Brandt was against approving the substitutions to the stone veneer.
“It’s our only high school and it will outlive all of us for a long time,” Brandt said.
Her fellow board member, Penni Fishbaine, argued in favor of the cost benefits presented by the veneer substitutions, which together totaled a potential savings of $148,000.
“We’re over budget and that’s why I’m going to vote for all of the changes we can to get back under budget,” Fishbaine said.
The board will discuss a third list of change orders during a meeting March 28 before putting them to a vote April 18.
Low bids for Panorama Village building project
Kretina Builders Inc. — general contractor bid: $902,000
Marc-Service Inc. — mechanical-HVAC contractor bid: $278,581
K&K Plumbing — mechanical-plumbing bid: $54,488
Commercial Electrical Services Inc. — electrical contractor bid: $198,500
R.C. Bowman Inc. — paving bid: $52,723.12