By MARY R. SMITH
McDONALD -- Renovation estimates for McDonald High School are running $850,000 above original cost expectations for the $7.9 million project, but school officials are being assured by the Ohio School Facilities Commission that the state will help them make up the shortfall.
Schools Superintendent Robert Bloniarz said district officials met with an Ohio School Facilities Commission representative Thursday, who said if the high school project runs over budget the state will support the district financially at the same rate as previously agreed, with an 88 percent grant. The district is responsible for 12 percent of costs.
Bigger plan: The high school project is part of a $16.6 million school district renovation project that includes building a new elementary school and razing the existing Roosevelt elementary school. A $2 million bond issue approved by voters is providing the local share for the school projects.
The board of education awarded $5.7 million in contracts Thursday for some of the renovations at the high school.
Costs have been increased because more asbestos requiring removal was found than first expected, and the gym was not included in first estimates for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and a sprinkler system, Bloniarz said.
Work is expected to start next week, and will take a year to 14 months to complete.
Class locations: Junior High classes and some other high school classes displaced by the renovations will have class sessions at the old Our Lady of Perpetual Help school, which has been rented by the board for next school year.
Contracts were awarded for the following: General trades construction, D.J. Porter Co., Youngstown, $2,068,982; fire protection bid package, S.A. Cumunale, $331,651; electrical construction, SM Electric, Austintown, $957,950; window construction, Specified Systems, McMurray, Pa. $198,480; casework construction, Custom Fabricators, Beechwood, Ohio., $210,000; combined plumbing and heating, Conti Corp., Lowellville, $1,935,600.
Bloniarz remarked that project manager Don Lange of URS/OBrien Kreitzberg has been a great aid in working with the state commission on the project.