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MAMS Renovations » MAMS Renovation Project

MAMS Renovation Project

Leading up to and throughout the course of the Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project, Mars Area School District will post information about the project on this page as soon as it becomes available.

Progress Reports 
 
The following are Monthly Progress Reports on the Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project, as provided to Mars Area School District by Thomas & Williamson Project Management. The latest reports will be posted as they become available.
Air Quality Testing (posted 09.09.19)
 

The following reports list qtrak (temperature, carbon dioxide, relative humidity and carbon monoxide) and dust data at Mars Area Middle School. The numbers on the dust trak is the average, according to Michael Kopar of Intertek-PSI. The highest amount recorded was  0.033 mg/m3 in the hallway outside Room 185. Levels below 0.050 mg/m3 are normal. All other levels are normal — carbon dioxide (less than 1,100 ppm), relative humidity (less than 65 percent), Carbon Monoxide (less than 9). 

The following are the VOC (volatile organic compound) results for air quality testing conducted at Mars Area Middle School:
Project Updates

Middle School Renovations Continuing Ahead of Schedule

Work on the Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project is continuing ahead of schedule, according to John Hays of Thomas & Williamson Project Management.

“We are on time. In fact, (Phase 4) is ahead of schedule by about two weeks,” said Hays, noting that the project phase includes renovations to the remaining classrooms in the school’s eighth grade wing. “The goal is to get it done and move on to Phase 5.”

Phase 5 will include renovations to the “switch” classrooms, to which teachers were temporarily moved while their classrooms were updated, said Hays. The entirety of the project is expected to be completed in December, in accordance with the planned construction schedule.

The overall project includes 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. New mechanical equipment, flooring and lighting was installed throughout the building and all areas are being painted.

The Guidance/Nurse’s Office was moved to the front of the building near the Main Office. And, the school’s Technology Education classroom were expanded into existing space; the Art and Family & Consumer Science classrooms were relocated and enlarged; and classrooms were dedicated for a “Maker” Lab and Robotics Lab.

All remaining construction activity has been planned to avoid disruption to the instructional day with the majority of work being completed after school hours.

For more information, call (724) 625-1518.

Middle School Reopens to Students, Renovations Continue

 

While Mars Area Middle School students returned to school earlier this week, the renovation project at the school will continue, as scheduled, through December.

“This much-needed renovation has been a fast-paced project with a tremendous amount of work occurring over the summer months,” Dr. Wesley Shipley, superintendent, wrote in a letter to the community earlier this week. “Because this project is being completed in phases, there will be ongoing construction in the evenings and behind walls, locked doors, and/or outside of the building going forward.”

Students and their parents had their first opportunity to see the renovated spaces within the middle school during the school’s annual back-to-school building visitation event on Sept. 5.

“Knowing that we still had several days to do a lot of the things we needed to do, we (still) wanted to bring people in,” said Shipley. Over the weekend (Sept. 8), a deep, commercial cleaning of the entire building was completed to ensure that the building was ready for the return of students.

The kitchen/serving line as well as all electrical, plumbing, HVAC and fire alarm systems are fully operational and passed the required inspections and Adams Township has granted a temporary occupancy permit for the building, pending completion of the project. All bathroom partitions/fixtures are installed and temporary signs are posted; and, the school’s public address and phone systems were tested and are working properly.

In addition, air monitoring for particulates and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) at the school is ongoing, said Shipley. Preliminary results, all of which are posted on the District’s website, www.marsk12.org indicate that air quality meets EPA standards and additional testing will be conducted throughout the remainder of the renovation project.

“Work at the Middle School occurred virtually every day, weekends and holidays included, since school was dismissed in June,” said Dayle Ferguson, Mars Area School Board president. “The Phase 1 schedule was incredibly aggressive and, with the exception of the gym floor, the project team is on target with the construction activities and our students District-wide were able to start school as scheduled.”

New classrooms have been designed and improved for Art, Family & Consumer Science, Library/Media Studies, Robotics, Technology Education, and TV Production, said Shipley. Additionally, the school’s Commons area, including the cafeteria, kitchen, and serving lines, has been redesigned and updated.

The first phase of the project is done and Phase 2 is nearing completion, said John Hays of Thomas & Williamson Project Management, adding that the school’s new “Maker” Lab and LGI (Large Group Instruction) Room will soon be opened for student use. New flooring throughout the school is expected to be installed in the next few weeks.

The phased construction schedule is why there are areas still in need of flooring, lighting, paint, and ceiling tiles, said Shipley. All remaining construction activity will be planned to avoid disruption to the instructional day.

Once Phase 2 is complete, the seventh grade core teachers will move into their permanent classrooms and work will begin to renovate all “switch” classrooms, to where the eighth grade teachers will move temporarily while their classrooms are addressed as part of the final phases of the project.

All on-site construction workers, even though they will not be in direct contact with students, have the required clearances, said Shipley. In addition, school police officers and other personnel will provide added security on the middle school campus until all interior classroom doors are delivered and installed.

The project is scheduled for completion in December 2019. For more information, call (724) 625-1518.

School Ready to Welcome Back Students

Mars Area Middle School has been undergoing extensive renovations since school was dismissed in June. New classrooms have been designed and improved for art, family and consumer science, library/media studies, robotics, technology education, and TV production. Additionally, the school’s Commons area, including the cafeteria, kitchen, and serving lines, has been redesigned and updated. We are very near the end of Phase 1 of the project and are excited to welcome our middle school students back on Monday, Sept. 9.

Most recently, we have completed the following important actions:

  • Air monitoring for particulates and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) is ongoing. Preliminary results indicate that air quality meets EPA standards. Certified results are expected on Monday and will be posted on the District’s website, www.marsk12.org, as soon as they become available. Additional testing will be conducted until the project’s end.
  • The following areas are fully operational and have passed the required inspections:

    • Kitchen/Serving Line;
    • Electrical;
    • Plumbing;
    • HVAC systems;
    • Fire Alarm System.

  • All bathroom partitions/fixtures are installed, and temporary signs are posted.
  • The public address and phone systems have been tested and are working properly.
  • Adams Township approved a temporary occupancy permit, pending completion of the project.

A deep, commercial cleaning of the entire building is underway and will continue through this evening.

Because this project is being completed in phases, there will be ongoing construction in the evenings and behind walls, locked doors, and/or outside of the building going forward. The phased construction schedule is also why there are areas still in need of flooring, lighting, paint, and ceiling tiles. Construction activity will be planned to avoid disruption to the instructional day.

All Phase 1 actions have been completed on schedule, with the exception of the gymnasium floor. The new floor is anticipated to be ready in about two weeks. In the meantime, physical education classes will be held in alternate locations. There will be other building sections that will not be available at the start of the new school year, as those areas are scheduled for later renovation phases. Students and staff will have access to those restricted areas as soon as they are ready.

Please note that all on-site construction workers, even though they will not be in direct contact with students, have the required clearances. Also, an additional armed police officer will be on duty and provide perimeter security on the middle school grounds. This officer will work with another armed police officer and a security guard until all interior classroom doors are delivered and installed.

This much-needed renovation has been a fast-paced project with a tremendous amount of work occurring over the summer months. With the coordinated efforts of many and a slightly extended summer break, we are able to safely accommodate our seventh- and eighth-graders and staff at the middle school during the final project phases. We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation as we progress through the final phase in December and encourage home-to-school communications to share any questions and/or concerns.

We look forward to a great 2019-2020 School Year.

09.09.19 Message from the Superintendent - MAMS Renovation Update

Middle School Renovations On Schedule, On Budget

Work on the Mars Area Middle School renovation project is continuing “on schedule and on budget,” according to John Hays of Thomas & Williamson Project Management.

Crews are currently installing floor tiles, lights and plumbing; as well as painting rooms throughout the school, said Hays. Despite some weather delays, installation of the school’s new roof is continuing on schedule.

The kitchen area was totally gutted and will have an all new layout with a designated serving area for students; and, the floor in The Commons (cafeteria) has been leveled and a new terrazzo floor is being installed, said Hays. Outside of the school, new curbs are in place, sidewalks are being poured, and new asphalt will be laid in the next few weeks.

Work in the new family & consumer sciences and robotics classrooms is “lagging behind” schedule; however, the rooms will be completed before the first day of school, said Hays. The installation of the new gym floor has been delayed in order for crews to focus on other areas of the school and will not be completed until approximately two weeks after the start of school.

All of the work will not be completed when students return to school, said Hays. While the majority of the work is being completed during the summer, all remaining construction will take place after the start of the 2019-2020 School Year, but that work will take place after school hours.

“Even though we are on schedule, when the students return, it will not be done. It will not look completely finished,” said Dayle Ferguson, Board president. “It is going to be exactly where we need it to be, but it won’t look done… and that is part of the plan.”

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. 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 project is scheduled to be completed in December 2019. For more information, call (724) 625-1518.


Public Meeting Offers Update on Renovation Project

 

Middle School Renovation PlansMars 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.


Bids Accepted, Renovation Project Budget Set


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.


Renovation Project to be Completed in Phases

Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project Phasing PlanThe 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.

Presentations (updated 02.05.19)
 
The following are all available presentations addressing the Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project:  


Questions/Comments

Questions or comments regarding the Mars Area Middle School Renovation Project may be submitted to Mars Area School Board via e-mail at masdboard@marsk12.org or at any public Board meeting.