The South Eastern School District is moving forward with renovation plans for its three elementary schools, and will open bidding for the project Dec. 3 after approval from the school board last week.
The bids will be for renovating Delta-Peach Bottom, Fawn Area and Stewartstown elementary schools over the next two years.
Superintendent Rona Kaufmann said the bids are due back to the board by Jan. 10 for consideration. The project is estimated to cost $18 million, Kaufmann said, but she hopes the bidding process will bring that lower.
The project will update the heating and air conditioning systems in each school and will include building more secure entrances to the schools. Additional cameras for security purposes are also being added.
Kaufmann said the district is working closely with the state Department of Education to apply for reimbursements and hopes the district will get back much of the money used for the project.
If the timeline stays as planned, work on Delta-Peach Bottom will begin in June 2014 when school is finished this year, Kaufmann said. The district is planning on a six- to eight-month project for each school.
Kaufmann said the work will move to Fawn Area when Delta-Peach Bottom is complete, and finish at Stewartstown, hopefully by the end of December 2015.
Environmentally friendly: Kaufmann said part of the renovations will include geothermal heating and cooling systems. To add to the environmentally friendly focus, the schools are also pursuing silver certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, which would mean the schools comply with regulations that conserve resources while also cutting down on utility costs.
Kaufmann said students will not be in the buildings during the renovations. Kaufmann said it will be much safer to have students in another location while contractors are in the buildings.
Among other options, the district is exploring the option to use Chanceford Elementary in the Red Lion School District, which is currently vacant. Kaufmann said the close proximity would make it a good option. Kaufmann said the district is also considering using modular units as classrooms for the interim time, while also using vacant classrooms in other district buildings for overflow.
Kaufmann said the district and school board hope to have narrowed their options by the time the bids are due in January.