Construction on EJHS addition may start in June

MIFFLINTOWN – Efficiency and functionality are themes that inspired a design proposed for the industrial arts addition scheduled at East Juniata High School.

Architect Jay Darkey presented the design Tuesday evening during a workshop held by the Juniata County School District Board of Directors. Darkey said the design was developed through recommendations and collaboration between district administration, teachers and professionals. The addition is part of district-wide updates and renovations approved by the school board in recent months.

The proposed addition is 12,150 square feet in size, expanding the current industrial arts building by 7,150 square feet.

The addition – which includes two classrooms, an agriculture education room, building trades shop and wood shop – is separated from the main school building by fire resistant barriers. Darkey said the protective construction saves the district added expense of installing a sprinkler system throughout the whole building due to current building requirements.

Darkey recommended a pitched roof on the building, which he said will last longer than the flat roof design on the rest of the school. The outer perimeter of the building features windows on all sides, set into a split-face block wall. The upper part of the building will be constructed of brick, and the lower portion of the wall will be a textured material to match the brick inlay, he said.

Two regular classrooms, 950 square feet each, will be included in the addition. Each classroom has a countertop to fit four to five computer work stations. Cabinets and storage space are included in the perimeter of each classroom.

All three shops included in the addition – agriculture, building trades and wood shop – have 14-by-14-foot overhead doors to allow for easy access and entry of equipment or construction of pieces for building projects. There is an overhead cover and concrete pad outside each garage door to extend work space for students. The agriculture shop also includes a concrete pad as a foundation for a greenhouse.

Within the addition is a shared welding area with five individual stations. The separate stations allow for specified ventilation, which will improve the efficiency of the work space. The shops also include shared dust collection, sinks and eye wash system.

The pitched roof allows for a mechanical platform above the classrooms and shops to store equipment. A stairway and entrance will be constructed from within an existing family and consumer science classroom.

Representatives from Reynolds Construction said the proposed design exceeds the school board’s original budget for the project of $2,526,300. The addition is now estimated at $3,010,508, but representatives said there are some cost-cutting measures the board can use to reduce the estimate to $2,812,108. This includes the use of economy-size brick, the split-face wall design on the outside of the building, elimination of paint on indoor ceiling structures and shared equipment among classrooms.

Board members present at the workshop unanimously agreed to move forward with the proposed design, despite the increase.

According to a proposed schedule, construction may begin on the building as early as June 23. The project will take approximately eight months to complete. Move-in is tentatively scheduled for late January or early February 2015.

Also during the meeting, the board discussed potential renovations to Dietrick Field, which may include the removal of the existing fence to allow for soccer and field hockey games and replacement of deteriorating bleachers.

The board also talked about adding lighting to overflow parking lots within the district, deadlines for revising board meeting agendas and personnel matters.

The Juniata County School District Board of Directors are set to hold a voting meeting at 8 p.m. Thursday at Fermanagh-Mifflintown Elementary School.