UASD Board to accept bids for locker room renovation, ponders price of projects

The Upper Adams School District (UASD) Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a $155,000 proposal for architects to design and engineer a potential renovation of the girls’ and boys’ locker rooms and team rooms at Biglerville High School.

The board also voted to seek bids for the physical process of renovating the locker and team rooms.

These facilities have not seen substantial upgrades since the 1970s, according to school officials. The proposed renovation is estimated to cost $2.86 million. Middle school students also use the locker and team rooms.

Before the vote to move forward with bids Tuesday, Vice President Tom Wilson said the board could still reverse course in the future.

“If the bids come in higher than we expected or can afford, we can squash the program,” Wilson said. “This is not a ‘no return point’ … this is just the next step in our process.”

The board unanimously voted for RLPS Architects to move forward with the bid seeking process, and to accept the $155,000 professional services proposal from RLPS.

Funds remaining from the 2019 expansion of the former Arendtsville Elementary School, now Upper Adams Intermediate School, could be used for the locker room renovation, according to business administrator Shelley Hobbs.

The proposed renovation includes the addition of two classrooms.

Treasurer Gerald Walmer said Tuesday the board received public comments expressing concern over adding classrooms in a district with a “stagnant or decreasing” population.

“There’s open space that needs to be filled,” Walmer said, referencing large showers that could be consolidated. “And what better than a study room, quiet classroom or, you know, whatever that space turns out to be.”

The locker rooms are in “desperate need,” he said. Walmer supports the renovation, but said he wants to ensure contractors stay within budget.

Locker rooms weren’t the only potential school improvements discussed Tuesday.

Director of Athletics and Property Anthony Graham said the district needs to replace the 1997 maintenance van and old pole vault mats. Additionally, blacktop work in the form of base repair, seal coating and line painting is needed at Biglerville Elementary School.

“These are items that we have been pushing, I would say for the last four or five years … we just haven’t had the funds to do them,” Graham said. “But we’re at a point now where we need to replace these things or correct them before it gets too bad that we end up spending a lot more … .”

Those three items are estimated to cost $162,200. Graham also outlined other needs, such as middle/high school roof restoration, water softener and dishwasher replacements, middle school floor enhancements, and fencing, plus a vehicle for the district’s new social worker to use for home visits. In total, these projects are expected to cost more than $664,200.

While funds are allotted for some projects, Hobbs said, approximately $455,000 is needed to cover the remainder. She recommended transferring $455,000 from the district’s unassigned fund balance to the capital reserve fund to support these projects. Doing so would leave about $2.9 million in the unassigned fund balance, according to Hobbs.

The transfer was discussed, but not voted on during the business and operations committee meeting Tuesday.

In other business:

  • Hobbs presented budget projections, predicting district revenue will come in about 2% higher than budgeted and expenses will be about 1% less than budgeted. She emphasized that these numbers may change before the end of the fiscal year June 30.
  • Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Joseph Albin said the School Climate Survey is expected to be administered in March and expanded to include the elementary and intermediate schools. The survey is designed to assess student support, social and emotional learning, and how physically and emotionally safe students feel.
  • The board accepted the resignation of high school English and social studies teacher Robert Baust, who is retiring after 36 years with the district. Board members lauded his work and expressed regret at seeing him leave.
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Mary Grace Kauffman, freelance reporter, worked six years as a full-time reporter for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She has covered topics including business, crime, education, government and features. Mary Grace has a bachelor's degree in communication/journalism from Shippensburg University. She resides in Adams County.

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