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Palmerton to finish painting, flooring project

Published June 01. 2019 05:32AM

A painting and flooring project at Palmerton Area High School will wrap up this summer.

Last week, Palmerton’s school board approved a bid from CMG of Easton for $459,000, which will give a fresh look to the building.

“The painting and flooring is for all the classrooms and corridors in the high school except for the half of the second floor that was done two years ago,” Joe Faenza, Palmerton’s director of facilities, said.

In March, Tim Sisock, project manager with Barry Isett and Associates, said the only areas not included in this part of the project are the main office, the library and the music room area, which is likely going to be renovated as part of another project.

The district received two other bids for the second phase of the project; Cresswell Brothers General Contractors of Pottsville at $471,000; and Bracy Construction of Allentown at $490,400.

CMG also did the flooring and painting work on the south side second floor and corridor of the high school in 2017 for $44,975.

Change orders approved

Also last week, Palmerton approved nearly $144,000 in change orders related to its junior high school addition.

The additional work, which was outside of the scope of the contract, included multiple items and ranged from installing a concrete entrance pad to installing a relief pipe for a rain garden.

“When you’re dealing with existing buildings, you have a lot of unknowns,” Sisock said regarding the extra costs. “I think for a project that was more than $13 million and done in a very short amount of time, the district did pretty well.”

Director Earl Paules questioned why several items, such as the concrete pad, were missed during the design phase and why that cost is now the responsibility of the district.

“This is on our taxpayers,” Paules said. “That should have been caught before these drawings went out the door.”

While Sisock agreed that some of the items were missed pre-construction, he said the district was not going to avoid the cost.

“Whether it was part of the original bid, or it was done as a change order, you were going to pay for it either way,” Sisock said. “A lot of these were things required by inspectors. Our hands were tied.”

Though only approved Tuesday, the work was actually already completed toward the end of last summer when contractors were still on the site. Sisock said that is typically how the change order process works in order to keep things moving.

With more building projects on the horizon, Director Barry Scherer told his fellow board members to expect more of the same.

“This is a lesson going forward when the music room is renovated and with the secure entrance at S.S. Palmer,” Scherer said. “There are things nobody will know or see until they start demolishing and taking down walls. Engineers and architects can’t look through walls or have Superman’s vision. Once you start touching something in construction, you have to bring it up to today’s standards.”


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