By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Representative Kurt Masser is scheduled to tour the Danville Middle School on July 22, a little less than two years after it suffered extensive flood damage from Tropical Storm Lee.
Repairs and renovations to the school are currently on schedule for it to reopen near the end of August, in time for the start of the 2013-2014 school year, according to school district officials.
“I’m anxious to go through the school to see the progress,” said Masser.
The majority of repairs to the middle school are being funded by the Pennsylvania and Federal emergency management agencies. The two groups agreed to pay for the repairs so long as the district rebuilt the school in its current position instead of constructing at a new site.
“As far as I know...we are on schedule, on budget, FEMA is reimbursing the district, we have no issues,” said Allan Schappert, president of the Danville school board.
At the district’s June 18 school board meeting, the district approved $1.585 million in FEMA reimbursable repairs required for the middle school’s electricity, heating and air conditioning, plumbing and general contract work.
Maintenance director Rick Engle said he expected to be able to move furniture into the school starting June 24, and could begin moving in sixth-grade classroom materials the next week.
The school’s approximately 500 students had been taught in extra classrooms in the Danville Primary School and the formerly vacated Danville Elementary School following the middle school’s closure for repairs.
On June 21, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for Danville’s flood control system which is meant to protect the middle school, as well as the borough’s sewage treatment plant and Route 11 businesses, from any threats of flood in the future.
“I’m glad to see ground finally being broken,” said Masser, who attended the groundbreaking along with Sen. John Gordner and Matt Karnell of the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Masser and Gordner helped secure an approximately $3.7 million grant for the project.
Low bidder Susquehanna Supply Co. of Williamsport was recently awarded the $1.48 million construction project. The project is being funded by nearly $3 million which also covers engineering costs and inspection fees. The work is estimated to be completed by Dec. 20.
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