Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mars Area Evaluates Its Buildings

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mars Area Evaluates Its Buildings

Article excerpt

Mars Area school directors hired a consultant Tuesday night to evaluate its aging buildings and the placement of administrators who are scattered among four locations.

Thomas & Williamson, a Ross firm, will receive $12,724 for the facilities study and cost analysis. Board President J. Dayle Ferguson said the study will analyze "all the nuts and bolts of a building," similar to a home inspection.

"We so desperately need [it]," board member Bonnie Weaver said. "This study is going to take a good four to five months and we need it done in time to look at it for ... budgeting issues that we need to address."

The board also opted to pay an additional $3,248 for Thomas & Williamson to study an expansion of district administrative offices.

While most administrators are housed in the administration building, which is attached to the primary center, seven are in four classrooms in a primary center hallway. Those classrooms may be needed for students as enrollment increases, Ms. Ferguson said.

The special education department is in the former Middlesex Elementary School, while the technology staff is in a farmhouse that came with property the district purchased for a new access road to the elementary school.

Board members did not accept Thomas & Williamson's proposal for a demographic study.

"We have been hitting the numbers pretty good based on the last study that hasn't run out yet," Mrs. Weaver said. "We are such a small district. Someone just needs to go to the Adams and Middlesex [municipal buildings] and pull building permits. …

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