Cocalico votes to expand service center

By on July 25, 2018

Cocalico School District is moving forward with plans to expand its service center, an area housing transportation, maintenance and food services.

At a meeting Monday night, July 23, the school board voted 8-0 to approve a contract with Reading-based AEM Architects to design a 6,700-squarefoot expansion and renovations to existing facilities. Design and engineering will cost $65,000 plus seven percent of the total work, which is estimated at $2.9 to $3.5 million.

Adjacent to the district’s main administration building, the services center has not had any improvements since 1991.

“It’s in dire need of being updated, and it’s just too small for what they do out of that building,” Business Manager Sherri Stull told the board.

The project calls for an expanded bus maintenance area, a new maintenance shop, and added storage for all three departments working there, including a new walk-in cooler.

Renovations will reconfigure an existing office area and add more room for support staff, and add a room for bus drivers complete with an after-hours accessible bathroom and a modified break room.

The expansion is expected to spread into current parking used by buses and employees. Two new lots will be designed.

The improvements will also include new fuel storage tanks for diesel and unleaded fuel, an upgrade board member Lin Sensenig said would provide a pricing advantage with bulk deliveries.

The project is expected to go out for bids in February, with work completed by December 2019.

The cost is included in the district’s capital budget.

In other action Monday, the board:

  • awarded an $82,800 contract to Global Data Consultants to upgrade technology infrastructure, including servers, power supplies and emergency support.
  • approved the purchase of two new maintenance vehicles at a total cost of $57,211. The van and pick-up truck with plow replace vehicles used since 2001 and 2003, respectively.
  • agreed to continue in an IU 13 consortium providing a Wide Area Network for Internet service. The exact cost of the service has not been finalized, but the consortium will include connectivity, email spam filtering, a troubleshooting ticket program, firewall services, video conferencing, network monitoring, usage statistics and other features.
  • assigned one year contracts for most 2018-19 extra-curricular positions at a rate of $166 per point, based on a new supplemental contract approved by the board last school year. Points are assigned based on the staff member’s role, from yearbook advisor to head football coach. The total cost clocks in at $522,000.

Kim Marselas is a correspondent for the Ephrata Review.

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