By Robert Stoneback
The Daily Item
DANVILLE — Repairs to the Danville Middle School continue on schedule as the Danville school board commits an additional $1.08 million to the restoration.
Of that amount, $537,714 will be reimbursed by the Federal and Pennsylvania Emergency Management agencies.
The costs were brought forth to the school board by Rick Engle, the district maintenance director, and Jeff Brophy, on-site construction manager for Reynolds Construction, the group hired to rebuild the school following flood damage sustained during the Sept. 2011 Tropical Storm Lee flood.
The board was told that construction crews needed answers on a series of work items that night if the district wanted to have them in place for the Danville Middle School’s planned opening at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. The board voted to approve all the listed items, which included the purchasing of first-floor furniture, trophy and book case renovation, updating electric power and data technology, painting the second floor, plumbing and heating work and projector installation.
The total estimated cost to repair the school’s flood damage is approximately $9.79 million, of which $8.53 million is reimbursable by FEMA and PEMA. The district also plans to spend $283,822 to move the middle school’s administration offices from the back of the first floor to the front of the school. That matter is a safety concern, said board president Allan Schappert.
There are currently no delays for the school’s planned opening next school year, Brophy said. “As of right now I have no problems with what’s going on,” he said.
Since the flood damaged their building, the district’s 550 middle school students have been taught in extra class rooms at the Danville Primary School and at the formerly vacated Danville Elementary School. While the board has not made any formal decision, Schappert anticipates that the Danville Elementary School building will be used for district administrative offices once the middle school students return to their building. District administration is currently housed at the Danville High School.
Another now empty school, Riverside Elementary, is still owned by the district as well. Schappert suspected the district would retain the property, but not the school. “The building is pretty much shot,” he said.