The new high school in Westmoreland County is almost at the finish line. Unfortunately, due to some troubles involving equipment and supplies, the project looks like its completion will be delayed another month. This all came out at last week’s meeting of the Westmoreland County School Board when Superintendent Dr. Michael Perry gave a facility update.

“The substantial completion date was listed as March 23, two days from now,” Dr. Perry stated. “That’s not happening. We got a potential change order where Branch Builds was asking for an additional 33 days as they’re dealing with a lot of delays and supply chain troubles. It’s not a lot, but it’s essential to completing the school, and they just can’t get it here on time.”

“Is that going to impact the installation of the furniture?” asked Dr. Daniel Wallace. “Because it’s my understanding that the furniture is already there.”

“Depends on what furniture you’re talking about,” Dr. Perry replied. “But for the most part, it will all be able to be put in. We are anticipating delivery of the furniture in the second week of next month, but it’s shaky as the classrooms are nearly ready, but the open spaces like the cafeteria and auditorium aren’t ready.

“It’s affecting the bottom line,” Dr. Perry continued. “But I don’t think it will affect the opening of the new school.”

Money & the athletic field

The other major concern is the athletic field as the plan had been to fund it using the contingency funds. However, as more change orders come in, the contingency fund continues to bleed cash.

Originally, it had been hoped that there would be at least $100,000 remaining in the contingency fund to help cover the athletic fields. However, thanks to the change orders, the contingency is currently at around half that amount and still falling.

“We finally got a proposal,” Dr. Perry stated. “Branch Builds has given us a complete proposal at $816,111. However, that includes an asphalt track. We wanted a rubberized track. Ruston Paving Company can do that for $414,000, but in their proposal, they had some things that Beuchert Excavating would do with the rest of the field so we do not know what a complete proposal would look like from Ruston or from Beuchert if Ruston does the rubberized track.

“I am hoping that they can get together and maybe come up with a bill for $850-$900,000 and we can do it all. That’s my hope, but we don’t know because they’re still working to try to get Ruston to do the rubberized track. It still looks like we might be able to get the work done for less than $900,000, but we just don’t know.

“There are some essential things that they’re trying to get done, and we’re trying to make sure all the basic infrastructure is done so that it can be built upon instead of being dug back up.”

People can now expect the new building’s substantial completion date to be around April 25. The convocation meanwhile will still be on July 30th.