Johnstown conducts building condition survey

JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown School District could spend $6 million at each school building to upgrade them over the next seven years, a draft building condition survey found.

District Interim Superintendent Karen Geelan recently provided a presentation on the survey to the Board of Education.

Geelan said she was not providing a full presentation because work is not complete. But she noted architect Tetra Tech of Albany was the chosen vendor last spring from six or seven requests for proposals to provide a survey of the status of the district buildings.

“They work in an awful lot of school districts across the state,” Geelan said of the 50-year Tetra Tech firm.

She said the architectural firm provides education-based design work, long-range master planning, and help with the collaborative process.

She said Tetra Tech has done a good job so far for the school system.

“All of us have been very impressed,” Geelan said. “They really did fit with our needs.”

Geelan said the survey is looking at various areas ranging from energy efficiency to security to the district’s athletic fields.

The superintendent said Tetra Tech met with district administrators, reviewing documents and evaluating each facility while reviewing a draft facility evaluation. She said there are some top priorities and needs, such as the Knox Field turf. She said track and light fixtures need work, but all systems currently pass needs conditions.

Geelan said a secondary priority listed includes security needs at Johnstown Junior-Senior High School, such as replacement of cameras.

Other needs listed at JJSHS include door systems. The heating-ventilation-air condition system at Pleasant Avenue Elementary School was listed as a number two priority; as well as electrical systems throughout the district.

A third priority listed environmental comfort needs in the buildings, and future projects such as alarm and notification systems.

Geelan said the survey indicated total district needs over seven years could cost about $6 million in each school.

“They’re finishing up this plan right now,” Geelan said of Tetra Tech.

She said the firm continues to consult with district Facilities Director David Wood, and is looking at contingency plans.

Geelan listed the next five steps for the district and board. They include: reviewing the draft facilities evaluation with the board’s Facilities Committee; refine priorities; develop a long-range plan; present a final facilities evaluation to the board; and submit work such as the final building condition survey to the state Education Department this fall.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.


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