Parkland School Board recognizes semifinalists for National Merit Scholarship


SOUTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - The Parkland School Board heard updates Tuesday on the construction of the district’s newest elementary school and renovations to another school building.

And, as things stand, both projects are coming in under budget.

According to Robert Avitabile, senior project manager for Alvin H. Butz Inc. of Allentown and construction manager for the new $35.5 million Veterans Memorial Elementary in Breinigsville, the district is expected to save more than $422,000 in costs.

He explained that the project has used $420,000 of $581,131 in allowances, with $160,131 remaining to be used, and an untouched $282,669 in the contingencies fund.

The school was originally estimated to cost near $35.8 million but with the $422,000 in savings it is expected total $35.44 million, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Avitabile said that in addition to the completion of the interior of the new state-of-the-art elementary school on the horizon and earthwork landscaping outside, the construction team has been focused on improvements and widening of roads leading to the school.

He cautioned the present construction on Schantz Road is PennDOT-related. However, road widening and paving on Twin Ponds Road as part of the school project is currently underway, with all roads expected to be completed by Halloween if there are no complications.

Veterans Elementary is expected to open for the 2021-22 school year.

In the other update to the board, this one regarding the five-phase Schnecksville Elementary renovations, designer Jaime Bortz of KCBA Architects of Center Valley and Hatfield explained that the near $9 million total revamp project's initial phase will update eight classrooms in the portion of the building constructed in the 1980s and ’90s.

She added that the cafeteria also will be "refreshed" in addition to the plumbing and electrical utilities being updated, and that new air conditioning equipment will be installed, otherwise air conditioning would be absent for the first day of school on Aug. 31.

Avitabile said that improvements at Schnecksville "will come down to the wire" with regard to the first day of school as construction schedules were affected by the discovery of such things as hidden pipes requiring removal.

He attributed the first phase of the project being nearly $250,000 under budget to a collaborative effort by all parties involved.

Bortz noted that the second phase will go out for bids next spring.

However, before construction begins on the new front wing, which will house the new main office, the remainder of the school will be sealed off while work is in progress, Avitabile noted.

All renovation, restoration and construction projects at Schnecksville are expected to be completed for the 2022-23 school year.

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