The West York school board continued work on its $54.8 million district-wide building project Tuesday when it discussed details for the high school and hiring a construction manager to oversee the entire building process.

Board members will approve a list of deduct bid items at their meeting next week. Deduct bids are items that can be taken out of the bid contract for the high school project, in case the costs are higher than estimated.

The four items on the list are proposed locker rooms below the gym area that have access directly outside to the stadium, a bleacher area at one end of the basketball court in the new gym, a fitness area for cardio equipment and two classrooms.

If the bids come in higher than expected, the school board could choose to deduct any of the options from the contract in order to keep costs lower.

Necessary funding: It's important during the project to make sure that all buildings have the appropriate funding, said Board Vice President Todd Gettys. It is his goal to make sure there is enough money in the project budget to fund the infrastructure upgrades in the Lincolnway and Trimmer elementary schools, Gettys said.

"We don't want the last project to get squeezed," Gettys said.

The school board will also have to make decisions on funding for its first project at Wallace Elementary without knowing the full scope of necessary work at the high school.

The bid contract for Wallace will be awarded before there are any final numbers for the high school project. The bidding for Wallace is set up to allow for savings by building fewer classrooms. But head architect Thomas Gilbert said the school board won't know the final cost of the high school renovations before deciding how many classrooms to build at the elementary school.

"We'll be able to tweak it and make a good guess," Superintendent Emilie Lonardi said. "But we'll have to guess."

The bidding process for Wallace could start by the end of January, according to paperwork submitted to the state Department of Education. The bidding process for the high school will not begin until late summer, Gilbert said.

That bidding process is contingent on many application procedures, including a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 18.

Additional hiring: The school board will also interview candidates for a construction manager position after the March 18 school board meeting. The district administration will select the top two or three candidates for the job, who will then be interviewed by the board.

The construction manager will serve as a liaison to the district from the construction sites. The manager named will be a firm that will supply the staffing necessary for the project, Gilbert said.

In previous meetings Gilbert said one firm could supply multiple construction managers to handle the simultaneous work at Wallace Elementary and the high school. Gilbert said in a December meeting there could be one person in the role at Wallace, and one or two at the high school, based on the existing budget for the project.

Gilbert said choosing a construction manager that works well with the school is a crucial step in the construction process because those people will be a key connection between the district and the contractors hired to complete the projects.

-- Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.