Article by Glenn Schuckers
School board members of the DuBois Area School District took a major step forward in the addition and renovation project at the Oklahoma Elementary School by approving bids for work on that project. All members except District C representative Mark Gliga were present for the meeting and the votes to award contracts were all unanimous.
Contract No. 1 for general construction went to J.C. Orr and Son, Inc. of Altoona in the amount of $7,261,795. Contract No. 2 for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning was awarded to Hranec Corporation in the amount of $2,038,000. Contract No. 3 for Plumbing Construction went to K & K Plumbing for $1,009,672. Contract No. 4, Electrical Construction, was awarded to Hallstrom-Clark Electric, Inc. for $1,845,827,00 and the last contract No. 5 for Asbestos Abatement went to KLA Roofing & Construction, LLC in the amount of $108,370. Taken together the total of the five contracts is $12,263,664. The board then voted to approve the submission of PlanCon Part G: Project Accounting Based on Bids to the PA Department of Education.
Prior to voting on the contracts, Superintendent Wendy Benton presented an update on the Covid-19 status of the district. Benton’s report showed that the four elementary schools in the district, C.G. Johnson, Juniata, Oklahoma, and Wasson all have in-person attendance rates of 89% or higher The Middle School’s in-person attendance rate is at 78% and the High School in-person rate is 56%. This compares with the state-wide in-person rate of less than 30% and the superintendent commended the administration, staff, parents and community for this accomplishment. Benton went on to explain that the funds granted by the Emergency and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER) will be used throughout the district to replace and update facilities made necessary by the Covid-19 pandemic. Benton also said that thanks to an anonymous donation of $10,000, staff at the school were able to provide Enrichment Bags to all students in grades K-4 and all students in Grade 5 will get age appropriate literature books. The district has also purchased a food truck to distribute meals with funds from the No Kids Hungry grant,.
Prior to Benton’s presentation, Student Representative A.C. Deemer reported on upcoming events at the High School. The robotics teams placed 3rd at state competition and will go on to international competition in 3 – 4 weeks. The DAHS Drama Department will present its Senior Showcase on May 7 at 7 p.m. The choir will perform a spring concert on May 13 at 8 p.m. and the band will present its spring concert on May 14 at the same time. The National Honor Society will have its induction and senior recognition on May 5 at 12 p.m., which will be live-streamed. Finally, the Drama Club will induct new members into the International Thespian Society on May 5 at 7 p.m.
In other actions, the board awarded a bid from Sekula Sign for a new electronic sign on Liberty Blvd. The sign will cost $81,150 and will present information regarding district activities. It will be paid for by NexTier Bank who currently leases the building on the Boulevard next to the Administrative Center. NextTier has also helped with the renovations that will be made at Mansell Stadium.
Finally, the board approved a request to send one instructor to accompany a student to participate in the Virtual Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science State Research Project, and instructors to accompany four students to the PA Music Educators (PMEA) All-State Vocal Festival.