The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 1, 2013

Hilltop studying school updates

Frank Sojak

JOHNSTOWN — The Westmont Hilltop school board on Monday agreed to hire an architectural firm to help it undertake much-needed renovation projects at its three buildings and immediately gave the firm a job.

Hayes Large Architects of Altoona was hired at the rate of $125 an hour.

The board needs to update its three buildings but first wants to make sure the project warrants spending money to modernize the middle school, the oldest of its buildings.

After listening to two firms presenting various alternatives to saving energy and replacing outdated equipment, the board asked the architectural firm to prepare a report on the status of the exterior of the middle school, focusing on the area where the masonry meets the roof.

That part of the building is worrisome to school officials.

Board President Diana Schroeder said if the report shows‚Äąthat area of the building is structurally deficient, it would not be wise to spend money to upgrade the middle school, or even spend money on the other buildings, because the board would need to discuss building plans that could affect all three schools.

The architect also was asked to study the proposals of both firms who bid on upgrading the buildings.

The board hired Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance of Johnstown to be its health care consultant. The board had received a few other bids, but Gallagher’s bid was the lowest and most suitable for its purposes.

A board committee will review bids to replace the floor tiles at the elementary school and quotes to clean and paint the exterior of the gymnasium of the middle school.

Each job received four bids. The quotes ranged from $24,730 to $35,276 for the floor tiles and $9,550 to $54,600 for the gymnasium.

The board committee will determine which is the lowest responsible bidder.



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