ShareThis Page
Laurel Highlands hires construction firm for high school renovation |

Laurel Highlands hires construction firm for high school renovation

Cindy Ekas
| Friday, March 30, 2012 12:00 a.m

In a split decision, Laurel Highlands School Board has hired Eckels Construction Co. of New Castle as the construction-management firm for the high school renovation project.

During the special meeting Thursday, board members Jamie Miller-D’Andrea, Beverly Beal and Melvyn Sepic voted against hiring the construction company. Board member Tom Vernon abstained from voting.

Beal said she voted against hiring the New Castle company because “I would like to go local to keep the money here in Fayette County.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Superintendent Jesse Wallace said the New Castle company will be paid $680,000 — 2 percent of the $34 million construction cost. The total cost is about $40 million.

Wallace said the school board received three other proposals for construction-management services. They came from Fairchance Construction Co., K2 Engineering of Uniontown and P.J. Dick Corp. of Pittsburgh.

“The other companies submitted flat rates for their services, which were a little higher than the 2-percent fee,” Wallace said. “I think all of the proposals were fair. But the proposal the board accepted is 2 percent and is based on the construction cost. If the construction cost goes down, the school district will save money.”

At a building-and-grounds committee meeting prior to the special session, the school board listened to several presentations about the high school renovation project.

Gary Meinen of Willis addressed school board members and administrators about the Owner Controlled Insurance Program, supported by the Pennsylvania School Board Association.

Meinen explained the program will provide the school district with general liability and workers’ compensation insurance for all contractors on the renovation project.

“This program will provide up to $50 million in insurance coverage for the school district,” Meinen said. “This is better coverage than most construction companies have available. If the school district decides to purchase this insurance, the bids for the construction will be lower because the companies will not have to provide their own insurance.”

Mark E. Scheller, project architect at Eckles Architecture & Engineering, gave a presentation to school board members, showing the exterior and interior design for the renovated high school.

Both the interior and exterior of the building will include red and blue accents, the school’s colors, and Mustang emblems to highlight school spirit and pride.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.