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South Middleton School District awards two construction contracts for $22.4M project

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South Middleton School District recently awarded two contracts for the expansion of the Iron Forge Educational Center, a $22.4 million project that will add needed space, officials say.

According to the plan on the school district website, the project will convert Iron Forge into a “21st Century Elementary Education” facility. Classrooms will be arranged into grade-level “pods,” technology will be added to classrooms, and a “21st century library/media center” is planned.

The school board awarded a $197,804 contract to Quality Assurance Plus Inc. of Mechanicsburg to handle quality control management during construction. The quality control team oversees aspects of construction to make sure it complies with specifications.

In addition, a $24,650 contract was awarded to EHC Associates of Lancaster to remove asbestos from around abandoned heating lines in the basement.

Iron Forge was built in 1922 as a high school. It was last renovated in 1954, when classrooms, offices, a cafeteria and gymnasium/auditorium were added.

Plans by Upper Allen Township-based Crabtree Rohrbaugh & Associates — the architect hired by the board to prepare designs for the Iron Forge project — call for a two-story addition of about 45,000 to 50,000 square feet to be built on the south side in the area of the old high school.

In addition, the district plans roofing renovations across district schools. Three separate bond issues are planned to pay for the project, which is not expected to raise taxes, officials report.

The first $10 million bond was issued in March, with a second $10 million bond in March 2015. Any amount the project comes in under $22.4 million is committed to the five- to 10-year facilities plan, the district said.

Work is expected to be finished in time for the opening of the 2016 school year.

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