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Vendors Bidding to Manage Middle School Conversion
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Upper Perkiomen School District officials have received proposals to initiate the process of converting the current middle school to a center for fourth and fifth graders. Last week, during the school board's workshop meeting, Business Administrator Sandra Kassel informed the members that three interested vendors want to produce the bid documents for the conversion and manage the project.

            According to Kassel, each vendor submitted separate bids to produce the architectural drawings and manage the project. She distributed the proposals to the members following the Oct. 25 meeting.

            Kassel did not disclose the amounts of the bids. However, she said the totals are "within the vicinity of each other." During the meeting, the business administrator recommended selecting one of three applicants during the Nov. 8 meeting in order to make sure the conversion of the facility on Jefferson Street in East Greenville is in time for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

           "I think it would be dangerous to wait until December to do this," Kassel said after last week's meeting.

            Board President Kerry Drake agreed. During the meeting, Drake directed administrators to clear any non-essential issues from the Nov. 8 agenda since discussion of the conversion project would likely dominate the meeting.

            Following an adjournment, Kassel identified the three applicants as Fidevia Construction Management, a Lancaster firm, and Blackney Hayes Architects, from Philadelphia; D'Huy Engineering, Inc.; Godshall Kane O'Rourke Architects, LLC of Ambler.

            D'Huy, a Bethlehem firm, is currently managing the construction of the district's new middle school on Montgomery Avenue in Upper Hanover.

            Fidevia, a Lancaster firm, was hired by the board to create a plan to convert a portion of the current middle school to a center for fourth and fifth graders. In September, representatives of the firm presented a preliminary budget with a hard cost of $4.090 million, a 20 percent design contingency ($818, 172), a five percent construction contingency ($265,088), soft costs that account for 20 percent of the hard cost prior to the bids ($1.060 million), furniture, fixtures and other equipment ($530, 165).





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