Swearing in

Harry Funk/The Almanac

District Judge Jesse Pettit swears in Michael Fisher as Peters Township School District’s assistant superintendent at the start of the Aug. 19 school board meeting.

Peters Township School Board approved more than $130,000 worth of change orders related to construction of a new high school, but rejected a project at the site that would have added to the total.

By unanimous vote Monday, board members decided against spending up to another $34,231 to provide a telecommunications conduit from the high school building to the proposed location for a stadium at the northeast corner of the property.

“This price came in much higher than we expected,” said Ron Dunleavy, who chairs the board’s buildings and grounds committee. “To use contingency money for a future project that may never exist is a very hard thing to do, so I am not encouraging this.”

The board did vote in favor of payments related to 13 change orders, representing work that is added to or deleted from the original scope of a contract, that totals $131,823.59.

Roshelle Fennell of Reynolds Construction LLC, construction management firm for the high school project, told the board about $1.3 million remains from the $2.3 million contingency fund built into the overall $95 million-plus project cost.

Plans call for events to continue to take place at the current high school stadium until it no longer is usable, at which point a replacement could be built at the new site, the former Rolling Hills Country Club property off East McMurray and Center Church roads.

“What happens if you do develop it? How much is digging up parking lots and roads, and refinishing them?” board member Lisa Anderson asked with regard to telecommunications connectivity. “I’m assuming that would be very expensive.”

Dunleavy replied a conduit could be located so that it would require no such activity, and he also mentioned the possibility of technology evolving to the point where sufficient wireless connectivity would be available.

As for the status of the overall project, board member William Merrell inquired about a percentage of completion toward the November 2020 goal.

While Fennell said she would come up with an estimate, the Rev. Jamison Hardy, chairman of the board’s finance committee, provided an assessment of the progress.

“I was up there with Mr. Dunleavy about a week ago, and there is a lot going on. So while we might not be able to get a specific number, I’m pretty confident that we’re moving in the right direction,” Hardy said. “Each area would be different, so it’s hard to give a total number of completion percentage. But it’s really moving along.”

Prior to its next regular meeting, Sept. 16, the board has scheduled buildings and grounds committee meetings for Aug. 26 and Sept. 9 to discuss renovations to the current high school for its eventual conversion to a middle school.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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