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With Ringing Project Done, Pottsgrove Eyes HS Repairs

The entrance to Pottsgrove High School on Kauffman Road

POTTSTOWN PA – With the expansion and renovation of Ringing Rocks Elementary School now out of the way, members of the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors are turning their eyes only slightly south, down the hill on Kauffman Road, to what has been described as an increasing need for replacements of aging building systems at Pottsgrove High School.

Directors last week (March 13, 2012) discussed, but did not immediately act on, a Pottsgrove School District administration request to spend $9,100 for an outside engineering study of all high school mechanical systems. It would determine to what extent, and cost, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, and security systems there need to be overhauled or scrapped.

The high school was last renovated and expanded during 1991 and 1992. However, district Director of Facilities and Plants Michael Katzenmoyer told board members that project did not include mechanical systems that, at the time, were relatively new. Now, 20 years later, “they’re at the end of their life cycle,” he reported.

Some of the equipment is so old, Katzenmoyer noted, that parts for it are either unavailable or must be expensively custom-made. “We were told awhile back that some parts of these systems just can’t be fixed,” board Vice President Scott Fulmer added. Fulmer and the board’s Facilities Committee has already toured the high school to see the equipment, and recommended approval of the engineer’s review.

What won’t be included in that study is a report on the condition and potential replacement of the high school roof. That, too, Katzenmoyer said, has see its best years come and go. A separate structural firm, and not the mechanical engineer currently under discussion, will be needed to look at its repair, at a separate and added cost.

Business Administrator David Nester said the mechanical engineer would be charged with “evaluating completely what could and couldn’t be saved, and a list of things we might consider. It would be money well spent to get a good diagnostic report.” Directors indicated they were inclined to agree, but deferred a vote on the matter until their March 27 meeting.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ March 13 meeting):

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