Final plans have been given approval for construction at three State College Area elementary schools.
If you thought this was already done, it may be because the projects have already been approved at different points in their development, but State College Area School District uses a system that gives rolling approvals at different stages.
On Monday, the SCASD board of directors greenlighted the projects at Corl Street, Houserville and Radio Park schools to move to the bid phase. The projects were previously given an original nod, then OK’d again at what is called the “30 percent” mark, then again at 60 percent and 90 percent. There was no change in bid estimates or the scope of the projects from the most recent approval.
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Corl Street is still estimated to cost $17.6 million for “significant renovations,” while Radio Park’s rehab is still expected to cost $21.6 million if it is constructed with three classrooms per grade and $23 million if it is done with four classrooms per grade. The new school at the Houserville site, which is expected to be renamed, is still on deck for $20.6 million.
Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik said the district has used the multiple approval process for about 15 to 18 years as a way to get more community feedback.
“They are just kind of general guideposts,” he said.
The staged process is similar to a multistep approval used by the state Department of Education called PlanCon. Completing those steps allows a district to be reimbursed for a portion of a construction project. PlanCon reimbursements for the elementary projects are expected to reduce the costs by $1.3 million for Corl Street, $3 million for Houserville and $3.3 million to $3.5 million for Radio Park.
Bids are set to be opened Oct. 31 and reviewed in committee Nov. 1. They will be discussed at a special board meeting Nov. 8, and contacts are expected to be awarded Nov. 13.
“The board’s vote is a major step toward realizing the district’s goal of equitable elementary schools across our community. We’re that much closer now to providing Corl Street, Houserville/Lemont and Radio Park students with better environments and resources for their development,” spokesman Chris Rosenblum said.