CENTER TWP. − Central Valley School has approved new additions and renovations costing nearly $8 million to Center Grange Primary School.
This project, which has been in the works for a few years, will allow the district to have full-day kindergarten for all pupils in the building.
The renovations/additions will allow the school to hold a maximum of 675 students from kindergarten through second grade.
In a 6-3 roll call vote, the board agreed last month to approve the following bids:
- General construction from Mercer County-based Hudson Group Inc. in the amount of $4.66 million;
- HVAC construction from Pittsburgh-based First American Industries Inc. in the amount of $1.24 million;
- Plumbing construction from Gibsonia-based Vrable Plumbing Company LLC in the amount of $437,200;
- Electrical construction by Oakmont-based Merit Electrical Group Inc. in the amount of $1.63 million.
All bids added together equal a total of about $7.98 million.
Those who voted in favor of the bids were school board President Donna Belcastro, Vice President Dave Ambrose, and members Dennis Bloom, Marsha Decenzo, Tom King and Dante Ross, with members Thomas Mowad, Joe O’Neill and George Zaritski not in favor.
Zaritski voted no on the bids based on the total project cost, and the amount of work that is needed for other district buildings.
Mowad stated while he thinks all-day kindergarten is a positive for the district, he thinks it is not the time, citing deficiencies in both the middle school and high school, stating the board should continue to build the district’s fund balance until the district can better afford these projects. He added he feels this project will set other projects back by several years.
Bloom noted that if the project would have been approved two years ago when it was first discussed, rather than being delayed, the costs would have been lower.
When asked, it was noted the costs for these bids do not include any costs for renovations to the gymnasium in the building.