Greensburg Salem officials are considering options for an overdue update of the district’s high school locker rooms while dealing with sticker shock at a projected cost of up to $3 million.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Ken Bissell last week suggested hitting pause on a plan for providing heat relief in areas of the middle school, based on concerns that too little would be gained from the investment.
At its June 6 meeting, the school board’s facilities committee heard proposals for the locker room renovation from three architectural consultants — with estimated project prices ranging from about $1.5 million to $3 million, according to construction costs per square foot.
Board President Jeff Metrosky indicated those “very rough” figures are for a full-blown project including updated flooring and rooms for team meetings.
The board isn’t expected to be ready to make a decision about the locker rooms at its voting meeting Wednesday. School director Robin Savage said Greensburg Salem needs to check out previous school projects the architects have worked on before the board votes on their competing proposals.
High school principal David Zilli argued something needs to be done soon to protect the safety of students using the locker rooms. He said students have been injured on rusted lockers and items have been stolen from broken lockers.
Zilli said he had anticipated completion last year of a simpler project to update just the lockers for about $16,000.
“We have to do something,” he said.
Work on the lockers didn’t happen last year because the district maintenance department lacked sufficient manpower, so a decision was made to consider using an outside firm, Metrosky said.
“We’re in a position where we have a little bit of money now,” Metrosky said. “My thought is let’s pursue this, maybe not a $3 million locker room.”
With Greensburg Salem updating ventilation controls at the middle school, district officials have considered installing additional air-circulating equipment to help cool areas of the building — at an estimated cost of $350,000 for the third floor and $600,000 for the second floor.
If the district chose instead to provide a true air conditioning system at the school, Bissell noted, “It would mean additional chillers, and new units for all the rooms, and that would be an extremely high cost.
“The concern is putting the money into this building that way, not fully doing it the best way but just doing it halfway. But even halfway is going to be well over a million dollars.”
He suggested reconsidering options for improving the climate control at the school.
“You really can’t piecemeal buildings; you have to attack the whole building at one time,” said Michael Gigliotti, who is poised to return as the district’s interim business manager, pending approval by the board this week.
Bissell reported that a recent inspection revealed the stage rigging in the high school auditorium, which is 30 years old, needs to be replaced, which could cost up to $150,000.
James Baker, coordinator of technology integration and student information, said the equipment is safe to continue using for now but should be replaced “within the next year, two years at the maximum” — a project that would require shutting down the stage for an extended period.
He said the rigging inspections should be completed annually but had not been done since 2009.
Metrosky said the board is awaiting a cost estimate for replacing fencing along an alleyway near Offutt Field, after receiving a warning about the problem from Greensburg City officials.
“It sounds like it’s something that has to be done,” he said, indicating that money Seton Hill College pays to lease the field should be available for such capital projects.
Bissell floated the idea of pursuing a feasibility study to help prioritize the many items that need attention at the district’s five schools and athletic facilities, with projections calling for a continued decline in student enrollment.
He said now is the time to consider such a study, to have a plan in place for capital projects a few years from now when the district’s debt service declines.