CLEARFIELD – J. Greer Hayden, of HHSDR Architects/Engineers, told the Clearfield Area School District board of directors that Bradford Township Elementary School currently has structural issues, which need to be addressed.
Hayden said he has been reviewing the district’s feasibility study options but was contacted for advisement on specific concerns at the elementary school.
Hayden said the district had done recent improvements, such as roofing, parking and paving at the school. He said he believes renovations will need to be made down the road, however.
According to him, he said the school had undergone construction in the 1930s, 1950s and 1960s and in 1983.
He said in the 1930s wing, the building houses crawl spaces, the coal bunker, the boiler room and the area under vestibule. He said it was inspected on Nov. 25, 2009.
Hayden said this L-shaped building section consisted of wood plank floor construction. He said other areas were not accessible for inspection.
Hayden said above the coal bunker, the drywall was directly attached to bottoms of wood floor joists. He said some drywall had been removed over time.
Hayden also pointed out the main crawl space is not well ventilated and is a dry environment.
According to him, they’ve found evidence that reinforcement has taken place. He said they discovered steel joists that were installed in the coal bunker from subsequent work during the 1950/1960 additions to the building.
He, however, said they didn’t find any steel joists from either the 1950/1960 or 1983 additions in the crawl space. He said the reinforcement is a cause for concern.
Hayden said during the building’s inspection, they determined the following reinforcement types were used during construction: installation of additional steel beams, concrete piers and foundations, brick and concrete masonry piers, wood diagonal bridging, steel columns and wood posts, beams and shims.
In photos from the 1930s wing, he pointed out a steel beam that wasn’t connected to a steel column. He said it was being held in place by gravity. He showed other photos, which depicted deteriorating joist beams and bottoms.
He presented additional photos of the coal bunker. In those, he said the wood joists were supported by steel joists. He noted water stains, missing drywall and wood joists not bearing on steel joists.
Hayden said he believed the structural issues would impact rooms in the area of 202 and 216 in the first floor corridor. He said hallway flooring showed sloping in front of Room 202.
He said the floor sloping problems were attributable to construction techniques in the boiler room era addition. He said it was also impacted by the localized demolition of the original 1930s building addition.
Hayden said they also found crowns in the flooring in both Rooms 202 and 216. He said the floor crowns came from a combination of causes, including stiffness of beam members versus wood joists, overlapped floor joists over stiff beam and long term downward deflection.
Hayden said the district had a variety of options to give consideration. He said they could stabilize/shore in place; reinforce in place; or construct a new addition.
He said to stabilize and shore in place, they would maintain finished classroom and corridor spaces as these presently exist. He said they would install additional permanent shoring in existing spaces. He said the option would cost $293,000.
He said to reinforce in place, they’d protect classrooms and corridor spaces with temporary coverings. He said they would then remove all existing flooring construction and install both new flooring construction and finishes.
He said they would also implement new air quality control mechanical systems. He said it would prevent corrosion from occurring within the repaired crawl space. He said the second option would cost the district in the range of $555,000.
Hayden said under the final option, they could construction a new addition. He said if they did so, they’d remove the 1930’s era addition. He said they would then reconstruct with the same footprint. He said the project would cost about $857,000.
In addition, he said the district had two other options for the construction of new additions.
He said they could build a larger one that would house four more classrooms. He said by doing so, they would have three classrooms for each grade if they had a kindergarten through third alignment, as recommended in the district feasibility study.
Hayden said they could also choose a construction plan that would result in separate cafeteria and multipurpose rooms. He said they currently use the cafeteria for both purposes.
Hayden said the district is eligible for a Qualified School Construction Bond. He said the program was authorized through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He said it was a new tax credit bond program, which provides interest-free financing for school districts by giving a tax credit to buyers of these bonds.
He said Pennsylvania received more than $315 million, and it’d be allocated by the Department of Education. He said it would be competitive-based among the more than 100 districts that are eligible statewide. He said the application deadline is April 1.