SpringfieldTop option: $9.2M to renovate school

Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 am
By Rose Krebs Staff writer Calkins Media, Inc.

SPRINGFIELD — School district officials have learned just how much it will cost to make improvements to their school if they decide to pursue a voter referendum a third time. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Robert Garrison Jr., of Garrison Architects in Evesham, presented the school board with different options for a possible September bond referendum. 

The base price for exterior and interior renovations, electrical upgrades and a new heating and ventilation system with no air conditioning would be $4.2 million. Adding air conditioning would cost another $2 million. 

Also, the board was presented with other options: 

Adding a gymnasium and four classrooms. 

Converting the gymnasium into a cafeteria and kitchen. 

Converting the cafeteria and kitchen into a library, and turning the library and computer lab into three classrooms. 

Adding a new library and computer lab. 

Other possible improvements include a pitched metal roof, new windows and doors, security and fire alarm upgrades, renovated bathrooms and new ceiling tiles. 

The most expensive option would cost $9.1 million, Garrison told the board. If the district is able to secure 40 percent in funding from the state, the local share would be about $5.5 million to be spread over 20 years. 

Garrison said that it is not clear when the state will release more school construction funds, and that any new construction will not be eligible for grant money. Securing debt service aid is another option to help cover costs, he said. 

The original part of the kindergarten-through-sixth-grade school dates from 1939. Additions were made in 1957, 1964, 1973 and 1993. 

Garrison urged the board to decide by spring which option to pursue. The special election would be Sept. 25. 

Also Tuesday, the board decided to hire Environmental Resolutions of Mount Laurel to serve as site engineer for the project. The contract will not exceed $9,500. 

The district already awarded a $15,000 contract to Garrison Architects of Evesham and a $5,000 contract to Greyhawk of Moorestown as construction manager to assist with the referendum preparations. 

If voters approve the referendum, Garrison will receive further compensation equal to 7.75 percent of the total construction costs. 

In March 2010, voters rejected a $9.4 million bond referendum for school improvements. Another referendum failed in December 2009. 

Board members did not indicate which option they supported.


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