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Parts of junior high gym to be torn up

Published October 03. 2012 05:02PM

About three-quarters of the floor covering of Palmerton's renovated junior high school gymnasium will be torn up over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The school board learned of the situation on Tuesday after it heard a project review presentation from Rob Sarnowski and Tim Sisock of Barry Isett & Associates.

Sisock told the board that a portion of the gym must be pulled apart because some lines are not in accordance with central documents.

"The only way is to tear it up," Sisock said. "Right now, it's not a huge issue."

The final amount of the project is to be announced, Sisock said. Thus far, the project has cost the district $366,200, he said.

It includes ADA accessible seating; a new multipurpose athletic flooring incorporating a basketball court; volleyball court; two practice volleyball courts; and a new scoreboard.

In April, the board agreed to award the project to CMG of Easton, per the recommendation of Sisock and Sarnowski.

The project called for a multi-prime contract for soil stabilization and renovations to the gymnasium, including demolition, concrete milling and overlay, new athletic flooring, telescoping bleachers, and finishes.

As a result, the soil under the floor was stabilized, the floor leveled and recovered with a new athletic surface, the bleachers replaced, and the gym painted.

After the meeting, Superintendent Carol Boyce said the matter came about "because the contractor did not follow the diagram."

"There were errors in the painted lines; this is a special epoxy paint that adheres to the composition of the floor covering," Boyce said. "The floor covering is a rolled composition material, and it is actually taped onto the concrete below, and that makes the replacement of it not a very high-tech operation."

Also on Tuesday, Director Charles Gildner asked whether the district should add visitors side bleachers to the high school athletic stadium complex.

Gildner referenced an incident at a recent junior varsity football game in which he said a visiting JV mascot "was very disrespectful."

Director Sherri Haas said she agreed that the incident Gildner alluded to was "very disrespectful."

"It's disrespect of the team, the cheerleaders, and of the fans," Haas said. "We will end up in a fight (yet)."

However, Sarnowski said such a move would result in a "huge cost" to the district.

Sisock estimated it would cost the district about $105,000 for the bleachers alone, which does not take into account the cost to install them.

The discussion came after Sisock told the board earlier in the workshop that the athletic field bleacher replacement was completed at a price tag of $774,000.

As part of the work, there is now ADA accessibility to the field and around the site, as well as ADA seating on the new grandstand, which bridges the weight room/field house below, and includes a new larger press box with an accompanying photo deck on top. IN addition, the weight room field house received a new roof, and new fencing and gates were built to secure the field's perimeter.

Afterward, Boyce told the board she had previously hoped the district could have refinanced the $5 million bond the district took out in 2010, at which time it also refinanced several previous bonds.

Boyce said she had hoped to be able to take the remains of the existing energy performance contract the board agreed to with Johnson Controls, where the payoff amount of the contract - which is at the end of its third year - is between $750,000 to $800,000, to pay off and re-bond to stretch out the payments without increasing the budget.

"Unfortunately, it was done as a straight bank loan, and was not bonded," Boyce said. "Therefore, we cannot do that, and we will be paying that mortgage until 2022."

Boyce noted that she and business manager Diane Serfass met recently with Henry Sallusti, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, of Scranton, with regard to the bond issue.

"We will not be able to do any additional bonding for two to three years down the road," she said. "Financially, we do not have the capacity to go beyond what we have in the $5 million bond because of the impact that additional debt service would have on the district's budget at this time; we estimate that it would be between $150,000 to $175,000 more in the regular budget, which we feel is not possible at this time."

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