MAMS Renovation Project
Project Update (posted 05.14.19)
Mars Area School District offered a Public Meeting on May 14 to update the community on the upcoming Mars Area Middle School renovation project.
The upcoming Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project will include renovations to every classroom and will maintain a seventh grade and an eighth grade area within the school. However, each grade level area will be separated into two teams or “houses.”
With the implementation of the “house” system, the curriculum will not be changing in terms of the courses that will be offered, said Dr. Wesley Shipley, superintendent. The system will enable the creation of “schools within school” or smaller groups of students who are defined by a designated group of “common core” teachers (English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies).
“Students are going to stay within that group of teachers. It allows the teachers to get to know the kids better… the kids get to know the teachers better. (And,) teachers can get to do more cross-curricular activities together,” said Shipley, noting that many students will still have courses outside of their individual houses.
When students need to take a different level of Mathematics or English/Language Arts or to attend their special area classes, they may not have the same team, said Todd Kolson, Mars Area Middle School principal. District administrators and teachers are continuing to examine how the house system may best be implemented in each grade level.
The overall project will include renovations to all classrooms; the installation of a new floor, new lighting and air conditioning in the gymnasium; the raising of the floor in The Commons (cafeteria); and the expansion of the kitchen/cafeteria serving area and the school’s LGI (Large Group Instruction) Room, said Jeremy Beatty of Eckles Architecture. New mechanical equipment, flooring and lighting will be installed throughout the building and all areas will be painted.
The guidance and nurse’s offices will be moved to the front of the building near the main office, said Beatty. The technology education classroom will be expanded into existing space; the school’s art and family and consumer science classrooms will be relocated and enlarged; and classrooms will be dedicated for “maker” and robotics labs.
The first phase of the project will begin immediately following the end of the 2018-2019 School Year and will continue throughout the summer months. All remaining construction will take place after students return to school at the start of the 2019-2020 School Year; however, the majority of that work will take place after school hours.
The design of the project will feature several variations based on school colors (blue and gold), which will be incorporated in flooring, tack board displays, casework, etc., said Tricia Monaco of Eckles Architecture. Design elements will also feature school colors in special area classrooms and common spaces throughout the building.
For more information, call (724) 625-1518.
Project Update (posted 02.05.19)
Project Update (posted 02.05.19)
The upcoming Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project will be completed in five phases, the first of which will begin immediately following the end of the 2018-2019 School Year and will continue throughout the summer months, said John Hays of Thomas & Williamson Program Management, who spoke during a Public Meeting (Feb. 5) to update the community on the scope of the project. All remaining construction will take place after students return to school at the start of the 2019-2020 School Year.
When school resumes, the phasing of the construction will enable a total of 27 classrooms and other instructional spaces to remain available to teachers and students at all times, said Hays. Therefore, the District is no longer considering its plan to temporarily move eighth grade students to Mars Area High School, as all students will now be able to remain in the building during construction
Some students and teachers will need to move within the school, as necessary, to accommodate additional renovations, said Hays. Each successive phase of the project will include renovations to six classroom spaces at a time.
The bulk of the work will take place during Phase #1 of the project, which will include renovations to six classrooms (in the northern portion of the seventh grade wing) as well as wall demolition, floor installation, and light fixture replacement in all specialized classrooms and throughout the building, said Hays. Work will also include the installation of a new floor and new lighting in the gymnasium; the raising of the floor in the Commons (cafeteria); and renovations to expand the kitchen/cafeteria serving area and the school’s LGI (Large Group Instruction) Room.
The guidance and nurse’s offices will be moved to the front of the building near the main office, said Hays. The technology education classroom will be expanded into existing space; the school’s art and family and consumer science classrooms will be relocated and enlarged; and classrooms will be dedicated for “maker” and robotics labs.
Phase #2 (to be completed Sept. 10-Oct. 1) will include renovations to the remaining seventh grade classrooms; Phase #3 (Oct. 1-22), the northern classrooms in the eighth grade wing; Phase #4 (Oct. 22-Nov. 12), the remaining eighth grade classrooms; and Phase #5 (Nov. 12-Dec. 12), the remaining classrooms in the southwest corner of the building, said Hays, noting that the majority of classroom renovation work during these phases will take place after school hours.
The total project cost is expected to be $14,683,427. Around $10 million for the project will come from a 2018 District bond fund and the remainder from residual dollars from a 2016 bond fund that is on hand in a reserve account. The Board is expected to award bids for the project in late April 2019.
Bids Accepted, Project Budget Set (posted 04.29.19)
At a Special Meeting on April 29, Mars Area School Board voted 9-0 to accept bids for a $13,433,410 renovation project at Mars Area Middle School.
Bids were awarded to Tomlyn Construction (general construction) in the amount of $3,660,000; Pennsylvania Roofing Systems Inc. (roofing), $2,619,000; Bova Corporation (food service equipment), $354,910; Vrabel Plumbing Co. LLC (plumbing), $968,200; D&G Mechanical Inc. (HVAC), $4,033,900; and A-1 Electric Inc. (electrical), $1,797,400.
In addition, the Board voted 8-1 to approve an overall project budget of $15,373,632. Board member Dr. William Pettigrew cast the lone dissenting vote.
Presentations (updated 02.05.19)