JERSEY SHORE - As the Jersey Shore Area School District continues with a renovation project at one of its elementary schools, the board got a better idea of how much it's going to cost.
Brian Haines, of Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates, had estimated the project cost at about $14.4 million, which is over the district's $13 million budget that previously had been set.
At Monday's meeting, Daniel V. Cicala, principal of Fidevia Construction Management Firm, gave an estimate of $12.6 million. But, as Haines pointed out, the estimate only included construction costs and not additional fees, such as architectural and design fees, which his estimate did.
Haines added he was pleased that Cicala's estimate was within $50,000 of his.
When asked by the board when Cicala expects to have his final estimate for the board, he said it should be ready in about two weeks. He would like to meet with the architects and go over the entire project to make sure nothing was missed in the estimate.
"We feel pretty good about the numbers," Cicala said. "A tremendous amount of time went into this ... I don't expect too much to change."
If the board chooses to go with a chilled beam system over a unit ventilator, an extra fee will be involved.
Haines said there is not a lot of room in classrooms for duct work. That consideration, plus energy savings, means the chilled beams would be the way to go. However, that option also carries a higher cost of about $600,000.
"You've got a set of conditions that limit your options," Haines said.
Although the chilled beams are more expensive, Haines said the district would see savings over the years because the system costs less to maintain.
When Kelly Wasson, of Crawford Township, asked the board if it would need to approve any increases to the budget, Superintendent Richard Emery answered, "Absolutely."
Adrienne Craig, business manager, added that if the district increases the project's budget, the move would have no effect on the property tax millage, due to the district choosing a wrap-around payback method.
In other news, the public asked Emery about the possible move of fifth-grade students to the middle school.
Emery said the district wouldn't move further without board approval and he would work on a transition plan to present if the move would occur.
"We don't want our kids to survive school, we want them to thrive," said Tammy Cornelius, of Piatt Township.
Emery said the move is to help keep programs from being cut.
Kacey Prichard, of Mifflin Township, said she doesn't believe the students are ready for the move to the middle school at their age.
"The kids are not ready. They still want recess. They're still learning," she said.