CASD Advances Elementary Project with PDE
CLEARFIELD – On Monday night, the Clearfield Area School District Board of Directors moved forward with its renovation and expansion project at the Clearfield Elementary School by approving the submission of construction documents to the state’s Department of Education for review and approval.
The district is currently planning to consolidate kindergarten through grades six into the CES. The CES renovation and expansion project will cost approximately $10.6 million with the construction beginning at the end of this school year and concluding sometime in the middle of August in 2014.
J. Greer Hayden of HHSDR Architects/Engineers of Sharon said they’re in the process of finishing up the CES project’s bidding documents. He said he’s tentatively planning for the project to go out for bid on April 10, so that the board has them for review in time for construction to coincide with the end of the school year.
Hayden said since meeting with the board last, they have moved the location of the new addition at the CES. He said it’s been moved to the west end of the property in order to stay away from the hillside. Hayden said if they had proceeded with construction in its original location, it would have posed costly issues with a lot of retaining walls.
So far as storm water retention, he said the CES will continue to utilize its current pond. However, he said it will be re-shaped and made wider and slightly deeper. He said the Clearfield County Conservation District is preliminarily satisfied with these plans, which have been submitted for final approval.
According to Hayden, they’re exploring some alternative bids for the CES project. He said one alternative bid will be to re-roof the existing building, which wasn’t previously discussed. Hayden said that the CES’s roof is nearing the end of its life, and this is an opportunity to look at replacing it. In addition, he said other alternative bidding will include cabinetry for existing rooms, the HVAC system, television surveillance cameras, data drops in classrooms, etc.
He said there will be five primary contracts for the CES project, including general, heating, electrical, plumbing and food services. He said in regards to food services, they’ll maintain the CES’s current equipment, as well as that from Girard-Goshen, Bradford Township and Centre. He said school personnel will disconnect the food services equipment at the other elementary schools to be re-installed at the CES.
Hayden said they will first start constructing the classroom and kitchen additions in June and continue until next August. He said the interior modifications will occur next summer, such as that to the guidance areas and the classrooms being converted to computer labs.
He said some classrooms will be blocked off at the west end of the building to contain the disturbance there and to prevent it from interfering with the classroom settings. He said Principal Jamie Quick has plans to accommodate giving up those classrooms for the better part of next school year.
Hayden said that construction traffic will be fenced in and contained to the west end of the building. He said the section of driveway next to the pond will be closed off, and traffic will not be able to pass through there. He said buses will be provided a temporary road around to the rear of the building to drop off students in the morning and to cycle through to the front at dismissal time in the afternoon. Hayden said no other traffic will be permitted to access the rear of the building.
He said they are waiting for the geotechnical report from the same entity that produced the initial one for the CEs. He said they’ve received verbal feedback from the geotechnical engineer and will follow the recommendations upon receiving the final report.
When he sought questions, board member Mary Anne Jackson said she was concerned about the cafeteria and library. She said she wanted to make sure the district had consulted with the appropriate experts and to make sure everyone was satisfied. Quick confirmed that they were in good shape in those two areas.
Board member Tim Morgan then asked Hayden to detail the security standards for the CES project. Hayden explained they employ “safe school strategies” and have even before recent events. He said they have re-designed the front entrance to the CES, so that school staff must “buzz” visitors into the entry way, where they are visible to them. He said the school staff then must “buzz” them into the school’s office area, before they have access to the rest of the school. Hayden said this will also be monitored by video surveillance.
He said once the students enter the building, it’ll be locked down. Teachers and other staff will have controlled access to the school’s other doors. For instance, if a teacher wants to utilize the play area outside, they’ll utilize a security swipe card to re-enter the school. He said the security controls will give school officials the ability to program specific timeframes for staff to access the school, such as weekdays only until 3 p.m. with their swipe card.
Hayden said they’re also looking at safety glass, so that if there is an incident, it gives school staff a little more time to contact emergency responders. He said some school districts have engaged police departments to identify areas of concern. Quick said that the Lawrence Township police have come in and gone above and beyond for the CES. He said the CES’s security layers will triple once the renovation and expansion project has been completed.