JCSD board approves sale of Lack

MIFFLINTOWN — Juniata County School District’s Board of Directors approved the sale of Lack-Tuscarora Elementary School to Tuscarora Township in its regular voting meeting Thursday night.

The vote was approved unanimously for the sale of the building, its contents and land to the township for $1.

The deed will contain a reverter clause such that the building and lands shall revert back to the district if they are no longer being used for municipal purposes.

At the board’s February meeting, it unanimously rejected bids for the sale of the building. The highest bidder at that time was to Branden Werner for $37,000.

Related to the consolidation, Jeff Harris, of Reynolds Construction, told the board that the he intends to present two payment options for change orders to “close out the project from a financial standpoint” at its April meeting.

At $33,000, Option A excludes a change order for the construction of a temporary access road at East Juniata Elementary School that was disputed by the board last year.

At $82,000, Option B includes paying the site contractor to put in the temporary access road.

Harris said he recommended the board choose Option B, saying the access road was a necessary part of the construction project.

The road, he said, was necessary to work on the project because of inclement weather.

“It was work that had to be done. It wasn’t done frivolously, but I understand your concerns about it,” he said.

Harris explained that change orders are covered under a contingency fund set at 3.259 percent of the project cost, or $1.45 million. The fund was built into the total project budget to cover expenses outside of the contractors control. For similar projects, he said this fund is typically 2-4 percent.

“The reason we use something in that range is because … we’re trying to make sure the school district is covered,” he said.

Harris added that the district spent under 2 percent of the contingency fund and that going with Option B could keep contractors from filing delay claims because of inclement weather.

“We need to take into consideration that change orders that are way under industry standard,” he said.