The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

April 30, 2013

Forest Hills unveils $48M school building plans

SIDMAN — Forest Hills School District is moving along steadily on its proposed middle and high school consolidation project, which is estimated to cost around $48 million.

At a public hearing Tuesday night, there was far more positive sentiment than detraction. Act 34 requires public consideration and opinion to be entered into the planning discussion. Public comments or concerns will be accepted through May 30.

Jamie Doyle, senior managing consultant with Public Financial Management, gave those in attendance a rundown of how the financing will work. Aside from $20 million in cash fronted by the district and state reimbursement to the tune of roughly 15 cents per dollar spent, three general obligation bonds, each for about $10 million, will be taken on over the next three years.

“This will look similar to traditional financing because their debt portfolio is so short to begin with,” Doyle said.

The current middle school was paid off in 2011 and the high school in 2012. The new debt service will be wrapped around existing debt for the elementary school construction, which will be paid off in 2018. After that point, principal accrual will increase slightly each year, but officials said it will be well within the district’s depth in terms of tax income.

Considering the indirect annual savings of around $640,000 upon project completion and the millage already in place in the district, the Act 34 hearing booklet handed out at the meeting stated a tax increase will not be required.

“My biggest concern was the cost overall,” said former registered architect Jim Wehner, whose wife is a Forest Hills faculty member. “$48 (million) – that’s a big expense. A very big expense for a little rural school.”

Although he applauded the practical and flexible layouts of academic spaces and the “top-notch” supporting facilities, Wehner urged the district to consider every aspect of the design and development phase carefully to get the most out of its $48 million.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads