Hamburg Area School directors approve contracts for construction

On March 11, Hamburg Area school directors approved contracts totaling $20,284,500 for the construction of a new elementary school in Shoemakersville.

Perry Elementary, erected in 1931, will be demolished after the current school year and be replaced at the same site by Perry Elementary Center Dedicated to Esther H. Ludwig.

Construction contracts were awarded for:

-General construction in the amount of $13.2 million to E.R. Stuebner, Inc. Reading


-Electrical construction in the amount of $2.7 million to MBR Construction Services, Inc., Reading

-HVAC construction in the amount of $2.7 million to A.H. Moyer, Inc., Myerstown.

-Plumbing construction in the amount of $1.2 million to A.H. Moyer, Inc., Myerstown.

-Food service construction in the amount of $530,000 to 11400, Inc. Lancaster.

“The board made a good decision to build,” Superintendent Steven Keifer said. “It’s being built at a cost from 10 years ago.”

The school will be built at a cost of $189 per square foot, compared to Tilden Elementary Center’s cost of $211 per square foot in 2008, Keifer said.

“No tax increase is needed to build the school,” Keifer said. “A loan in 2011 and our capital reserve will cover it.”

A ground breaking ceremony for the new school will be held on April 5.

The closing ceremony for Perry Elementary is scheduled for May 11 from 9 to 11 a.m.

The last day of class for elementary students is May 23, at which time construction will begin.

In other news, Athletic Director Aaron Menapace presented the 2013-14 athletic department budget, which reflects an increase to $597,181 from $567,807, to school directors.

The main drivers for the increase are retirement fund contributions, insurance costs and a new sports medicine contract, according to Menapace.

Net operating expenses which are the day-to-day costs to run the athletic department are at a 10-year low of $85,064, Menapace said.

“Since 2003-04 (school) enrollment is down about 10 percent in grades seven to 12,” Menapace said. “(During that time) individual participation (in sports) is up 10.5 percent.”

The athletic department’s budget represents about 1.5 percent of the overall budget.

The next meeting of school directors will be Monday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Berks Career and Technology Center West (Leesport).