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State High Project Faces New Delays

by on August 11, 2015 4:25 PM

An unexpected issue at the State High south building will likely delay construction until the end of next month.

Construction crews are currently working on building a new entrance to the south building as the first step of the high school renovation project. This was expected to be wrapped up by the start of the school year, but crews recently discovered “soft soils” that aren’t firm enough to pave over.

State College Area School District Director of Physical Plant Ed Poprik told the school board on Monday night that this issue was fixable, but could delay the completion of the south building construction until at least the end of September.

According to a new release from the school district, the soil issue could add up to $175,000 to the total cost for this phase of construction, bringing the estimate for the south building plans to about $1.8 million.

District administrators and State High project leaders are now evaluating parking needs and bus circulation plans to maximize efficiency once the school year starts.

Additional delays to the State High project timetable are also possible because of delayed construction documents.

Certain planning documents were expected to be completed by August 24, but the construction and architecture firms working with the school district have requested four additional weeks to finish their work.

Because of this delay, the school district will likely be forced to award construction contracts in November instead of October as originally planned. This could extend the length of the entire project from four to eight months past the original completion date of September 2018, according to the release.

“The project hasn’t gotten longer, it’s just shifted,” Poprik said. “Our number one goal is getting it right by assuring good bids and quality contracts.”

On Monday the school board also chose current State High Associate Principal Curtis Johnson to run the high school while the board searches for someone to replace outgoing principal Scott DeShong.

DeShong, a State High graduate, will retire from SCASD on August 24 after more than 21 years with the school district to take a job with Avon Grove School District in West Grove, Pa. Curtis will serve as the interim State High principal, and will be assisted by current assistant principal Kathy Pechtold as the new interim associate principal.


Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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