The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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December 4, 2013

Bid acceptance nears for Forest Hills school

SIDMAN — Forest Hills School District is just one letter of approval away from being able to accept bids for work on its new, roughly $46 million middle/high school.

School directors were filled in at their meeting Wednesday on an engineering analysis to be conducted by the Norfolk Southern rail line.

A representative from engineering consulting firm H.F. Lenz said the school construction would have a “minimal” impact on the flood elevation.

“In the event that they had a 100-year flood event, potentially there could be additional water on their site – a small quantity,” said Lenz President John Boderocco, although he added that if that were to occur, a portion of the rail line farther downstream would be submerged anyway.

Approval from the rail company, which is required by the state Department of Environmental Protection and as part of the PlanCon school construction process, is the final hurdle before contractors can be brought in, Eckles Engineering  representatives said at the meeting.

The board can still open bids – the start date has been pushed back to Dec. 16 – but can’t accept any offers until all approvals have been received.

Eckles representatives said the approvals would have to be received around the middle of January, as bids will close at 2 p.m. Jan. 23 and will be opened shortly thereafter in the high school cafeteria.

“We’ve answered any of the technical questions they had,” Boderocco said. “Now they have (given) it to their track maintenance staff to look at it. There’s an environmental review they make on it. Then the legal department will draft the easement agreement itself.”

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

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