By Robert Stoneback

The Daily Item

DANVILLE -- The Danville school board has approved the Saul Ewing Law Firm, of Harrisburg, to provide counsel regarding the Danville Primary School construction project.

In an interview after Tuesday night's board meeting, board President Allan Schappert said the members felt the action was necessary to ensure that their "contract be closed out correctly." "It's an exercise in due diligence," he said.

The motion to approve the firm passed unanimously.

In an interview Monday, Schappert criticized the work of the primary school's general contractor, E.R. Stuebner. While he said the building is safe and eventually will be "a great learning environment," there are problems with landscaping, insulation, cracked doors and uneven cabinets.

The vinyl flooring of the school's multipurpose room, which serves as both the cafeteria and gymnasium, was installed without the contractor demonstrating that the room's moisture rating was at an acceptable level, Schappert said.

Paul Fries, vice president and executive project manager for E.R. Stuebner, said the firm met the criteria and specifications provided by the school district and that a letter from the subcontractor that installed the floor, Dynamic Sports Construction, said the moisture in the multipurpose room was at an acceptable level.

The flooring was installed over the weekend, with final painting taking place early this week. The school district needs to wait until Monday for the floor of the multipurpose room to properly set. School begins today, so bagged lunches will be provided for students on the first three days of school. They will eat lunch in their classrooms. Schappert said teachers will need to be paid extra the first three days because they will be supervising students instead of getting a lunch break.

Chuck Knauff, of Reynolds Construction Management, gave an update on the project at the board meeting. Paving was completed on Monday, and the general contractor has hired a fencing contractor, he said. Roofing on the stairwells of the A and B wings of the school is not complete, and molding around another stairwell area will be inspected. "All these items will be addressed," he told the board.

When Schappert asked Knauff about having seen subcontractors watering dead trees on the school's property, Knauff said the contractor told him the trees "were in shock, not dead."

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