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AASD ready for new building

District to receive occupancy permit

The Altoona Area School District is to receive its occupancy permit today, allowing teachers and students to enter the new high school.

Gary Marshall of Reynolds Construction — construction manager for the high school project –told district officials at Monday’s school board meeting the group had received a “verbal thumbs up” on its occupancy permit for the B building.

Reynolds is to pick up the permit from the city building inspector today. The final walkthrough with the city building inspector took place Monday.

Altoona Area High School Principal Andrew Neely said the district plans to have teachers back in the classrooms by Oct. 26 at the earliest.

Superintendent Charles Prijatelj said teachers will be able to move into classrooms and rearrange their spaces in preparation for face-to-face instruction, as well as teach virtually from those classrooms until students return.

According to the district’s “Phased School Reopening” plan, junior high school students will return Nov. 12, while high school students will return Nov. 16.

Neely said the process to return has been “arduous,” but “absolutely worth it,” citing the transformation of a construction site into a school.

The board approved a payment of $34,950 to Reynolds Construction for the project, bringing the remaining balance due to $139,800 for the six-month construction phase.

Prijatelj said the next construction phases will be with the intramural field and to finish the bridge connecting the B building to the A building.

The board also approved change orders of $61,868 for the project. The total amount on change orders to date is $1,734,357.

Prijatelj said the project is $1.2 million under budget. He said this is because of $2.3 million in initial contingency funding as well as savings throughout the project.

Because the building project is considered a capital improvement, the district is legally required to spend any leftover money on other capital improvements due to certain bond restrictions, Prijatelj said.

Board member Frank Meloy suggested the board look into using any extra money on capital improvements at Mansion Park.

Mirror Staff Writer Dom Cuzzolina at 946-7428.

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