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School board approves building contract

December 20, 2013
By MICHAEL ANICH , The Leader Herald

JOHNSTOWN -The Greater Johnstown School District Board of Education Thursday night approved pursuing a contract with an Albany architectural firm to design a possible districtwide facility capital improvement project.

The board approved CS Arch, an architectural-engineering firm, as its preferred choice among three firms considered at its monthly business meeting at Johnstown High School.

Action followed an hour-long, closed-door executive session to consider three finalist firms.

"We feel it's in the district's best interest that we request it to be the CS Arch firm," said board President Paul VanDenburgh.

The company beat out two other finalists - IBI Group of Binghamton and Bonacci Architects of Utica. The district had solicited requests for qualifications from various architectural and engineering vendors regarding a possible districtwide facility capital improvement project.

The board gave Superintendent Robert DeLilli authorization to to negotiate the terms and conditions of a contract for services with CS Arch. The amount of the contract is not known at this time. The contract proposed will eventually be subject to final approval by the board.

"We're looking forward to working closely with this firm," VanDenburgh said.

CS Arch's website says this about the company: "Our architectural design services bring together seasoned creative and technical professionals who share a single commitment to the success of projects. Working in concert with clients, we create both new and renovated structures that stand the test of time."

The district doesn't have a specific list of project items yet, but those will be figured out when working with the architectural firm later. The district is looking at extensive roof work at city schools. The district does not yet know how much the project will cost, but it is expected it to be in the millions of dollars.

About 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost of the capital project will be for an architect and engineer, as well as a fiscal adviser.

The board and district administration previously met in special session Dec. 4 and interviewed potential architectural firms. The board first decided in April to informally seek proposals from architectural firms to do an extensive districtwide capital project to improve its buildings.

Capital projects could be 90 percent to 95 percent funded by state aid. Capital projects, once approved by the state Education Department, also eventually require a public referendum. The district is looking at possibly scheduling a referendum for next fall.

The district's last major capital project took place in the mid- to late 2000s. The district built a new auditorium at Johnstown High School and added synthetic turf at Knox Field.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at



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