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Pleasant Valley mulls options

Published April 25. 2019 02:04PM

Pleasant Valley school directors are considering the cost of renovations to the high school.

The Pleasant Valley school board and administration recently had an opportunity to hear a presentation of a feasibility study regarding options for renovating or replacing the existing high school. The building and ground committee will report on the meeting tonight.

Michael Kelly of KCBA Architects reviewed potential plans ranging from a new building at just over $100 million to replacement of mechanical systems at $17 million.

Options which included updating classrooms and adding additional space to the Route 209 side of the building while demolishing the John C. Mills wing and old auditorium. The price tag for those options were in the $50 million to $69 million range.

Several cost options Kelly presented were:

• The cost of building a high school would be about $100,604,519. This would include demolishing the old building and building a brand-new one. They could use JCM area as a swing space and begin initial renovations at the other end of the building. When the renovations are done they could demolish the JCM wing and put a parking lot there.

•  Projected costs of renovating the high school which would include basic renovation to all spaces, replacement of existing HVAC system, upgrades to electric and plumbing systems, and other limited improvements is about $48,339,575.

• Projected costs of limited renovations are $53 million for limited renovations to $69 million for a two-story addition in the space currently occupied by the old auditorium.

At the last school board meeting, board President Sue Kresge said that the finance committee was debating the issue, and due to the complexity and immensity of the project, the board would need additional time to discuss the matter before bringing it to a public meeting.

Kresge said that the finance committee would meet for a second time later this month.

Business manager Susan Famularo also informed the board members and Superintendent David Piperato that she had conducted an in-depth review of the impact that the various options would have on the district’s budget and that she would be forwarding the information to them for review.

“Look for it in your email,” Famularo said. “There is a lot of information in there so you can see the impact on the budget going forward.”

The board meets tonight at 7 p.m. Watch the meeting on the Times News Lehighton Facebook page.

And how much does the architectural firm get for each option? A million or so of taxpayer dollars? Lots of taxpayer dollars being spread around by these school board members.

Good afternoon. Review the ESCO Process, no architect, the district saves cash flow, and the result are State guaranteed.

I introduced this concept to Lehighton and we saved MILLIONS on renovation costs and interest for the MS and HS. Plus much lower risks of cronyism in this state driven program.

Sadly, our government got this guy David Krause as an appointed director. I found him to be an oppressor, he seemed to be one of those arrogant types, the kind that didn't listen to all the people. He was kicked to the curb by the voters.

The community first voted in a group that did listened the people, the district task force and voted for renovations to the Elementary schools, many liked the local schools for the younger students. The board shoved an EC upon the community. Intimidation sucks.

Yet after this appointment, apparently the community and the task force were silenced.
The district apparently flip flopped. The government seemed to have failed to even get competitive bids for Elementary School ESCO process evaluations prior to borrowing for an New construction project. This mess cost our district millions for the Architect. It seemed the $23M in interest was not included in the eval when presenting the cost of construction. The board apparently squandered our cash reserves and borrowed a bunch, they indebted us with an escalating rate, too. Our community grandchildren will be paying this legacy of debt. Many incumbents voted for the legacy of debt, Wayne Wentz was one of the louder ones. As they say, we were all sold down river, carrying the debt burden.

BTW, the state offers plans for schools. I was told the plans are free and can be devoid of significant architect fees. Every school does not needs to be independently designed at the taxpayers expense. These students need an education not a testosterone driven one upmanship battle of look at our school, our debt is bigger than yours. A battle of foolishness.

Don't be silenced, speak now of carry the interest burden.


Citizen David F. Bradley, Sr.
ABSOLUTELY NOT ON MY TAX DIME. Especially since they are going to be paying out the wazoo in the lawsuits for the nepotism and illegal wire tapping and bullying. Our taxes will shoot through the roof. THAT SCHOOL IS JUST FINE the way it is. They pass this and I will put my house up for sale and head south as Im sure so many others will too. I refuse to pay for the "shortcomings" over there. I was a bullied parent when my daughter was there, I took enough BS from them, Im not paying for it on top of that

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