DuBois school directors updated on construction project at Oklahoma Elementary

Article by Glenn Schuckers

With two members absent from the January 21 work session, including president Larry Salone, the DuBois Area School District (DASD) School Board meeting was chaired by Gilbert Barker. The other absent member was Albert Varacallo. 

Most of the content of the meeting dealt with a  report from Crabtree, Rohrbaugh and Associates on the status of the renovation project at Oklahoma Elementary School. The report covered four areas including a Design Update, the Plancon Part F,  a Budget update and a proposed schedule.

The design update gave directors a look at the changes and additions that are proposed to both the exterior and interior of the current building. On the exterior there will be a new main entrance with a cover to protect individuals coming in or leaving there. The changes also include replacing current windows with energy efficient ones. 

Inside the building the current multi-purpose gym and cafeteria will be replaced with a cafeteria and separate full size gymnasium. The current open library will be moved to the current administrative area as well as a new entrance lobby that will lead to the gym with doors that can be locked so that the rest of the building will  be secure when the gym is being used. That area will also have new restrooms. The area currently used as a library will be converted to a large open-concept classroom area. 

Following the update on the proposed design, the report covered  the Plancon Part F, which includes all the information that will be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. That information covers specifications such as room sizes and projected numbers of students in the rooms that require approval from the state. 

The current budget update placed the cost of the project at $13 million dollars.

The scheduled next steps show bidding on the project to begin on February third with those bids to be received by  March third.  Later that month, on March 18, the board is scheduled to award bids. Currently the architects propose substantial completion by August 2022. 

They also reported that most of the required permits have been approved and only one is  pending with approval expected later this month. 

In other business, the board heard that two new courses, botany and technical design and production, will be added at the high school. The botany course will tie in with the greenhouse that has been added there. Both courses will be voted on at the next regular meeting scheduled for Jan 28.  

At the end of the meeting, DuBois Area School District Superintendent Wendy Benton said she wanted to thank everyone in the school and community who have been working together to make the Covid-19 mitigation effort  successful. She said there are currently some 486 requests for vaccinations among faculty and staff. She said DASD has been working with the DuBois Christian School and DuBois Central Catholic on this project as well.

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