Log In

Reset Password

Palmerton to unveil new weight, wrestling room design

Palmerton Area School District’s board of directors is gearing up for a vote Tuesday night on the latest design for a much-anticipated renovation of its weight and wrestling room.

The proposed changes came after a setback in September when the initial project costs soared, leading the board to reconsider and revise the plans.

At the heart of the latest proposed changes is an expansion of a new boys and girls locker room area.

“The board requested that the locker room spaces be increased from 156 to 209 square feet each,” Joe Faenza, Palmerton’s director of facilities said. “This adjustment involves moving the storage and utility room wall back by 4 feet, 6 inches.”

Simultaneously, Faenza said, wall on the opposite side of the weight room, previously featuring a 6-foot opening, is set to be expanded to 16 feet, providing coaches with an enhanced line of sight.

A structural engineer’s assessment on Nov. 21 has given the green light for the expansion, with minor modifications such as a C-channel support across the existing lintel.

The revisions, director Earl Paules said last month, aim to streamline the renovation project and mitigate costs, a concern that has loomed large since the board’s decision to reject contracts totaling nearly $785,000 in September. The initial estimate of $375,000 for general construction and $120,000 for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning had undergone a significant increase, largely attributed to the unforeseen need to replace a concrete floor slab in the facility.

Since those numbers came out, however, the district essentially flipped the proposed floor plan from one end of the building to the other.

“Just by redesigning and relocating things, we can give our athletes everything they need without adding on to the building,” Paules said.

The redesign, Paules predicted, is expected to slash costs nearly in half, addressing concerns raised by board members and ensuring fiscal responsibility.

The upcoming vote on Tuesday is the latest step in determining the fate of the renovation project, which the board has been grappling with for all of 2022.

There is a sense of urgency, Paules said, to move things forward

“We’re coming up on the holidays, and we are losing a lot of time,” he said. “We want to try to get this out to bid in January.”

A floor plan dated Nov. 16 shows the latest design for Palmerton Area School District's proposed weight room and wrestling room renovations. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO