CJL News + Awards

Mars Area School Board hires CJL for MEP Design for Middle School

Reprinted from the Post-Gazette – November 6, 2018 12:34 PM

By Sandy Trozzo

The Mars Area school board on Tuesday reviewed a proposed change to renovations of the middle
school and proposals from firms that would design the renovations.

The board got from Eckles for $286,905 for architectural services; CJL Engineering for $289,500
for mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering; and McFarland Kistler for $14,400 to design the
food services area.

An architect usually does all three services, but Jon Thomas of Thomas & Williamson, construction
managers for the project, said this “alternative contract” approach makes more sense.
Eckles and CJL will each design 49 percent of the project, with McFarland Kistler picking up the
remaining 2 percent.

The board also reviewed improvements for the project. They include widening the corridors, new
lockers and relocating the nurse, art room, family and consumer science, robotics and other classrooms.
The additional work is estimated at $2.2 million, bringing the project’s total estimate to $12.4 million.
Mars Area is using district funds for the renovation. The board previously scrapped plans to demolish
half of the building and construct an addition. That plan would have involved a bond issue, thus adding
to the district’s debt.

In other business, the board approved work from Air Duct Maintenance Inc. for duct cleaning services
at the elementary school at a cost of $24,595.
Parents of elementary school students complained last month about a weird smell in the building. Mold
was discovered in the rooftop building that houses the heating and air conditioning equipment.
Superintendent Wes Shipley said the smell went away on Oct. 2, but having the ducts cleaned was “the
final step to make sure there is nothing there.”

Air Duct Maintenance began cleaning the ducts on Oct. 31, and is working nights and weekends. Mr.
Shipley said he polled board members ahead of time to make sure there was support for the work so
they could start before the board meeting.

Editor’s note: posted Nov. 9, 2018. An earlier version of this story contained several errors, including
the responsibilities of the professional firms, and the amounts they will be paid.

Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.