Aug. 27--MECHANICSBURG -- A renovation project at Shepherdstown Elementary School was successfully completed before the beginning of the school year and cost thousands of dollars less than the project's budget, chief financial officer Alan Vandrew said during a Mechanicsburg Area School Board finance and facilities committee meeting Tuesday night.
The results of the project -- which included an updated HVAC system, asbestos removal and improvements to the office area that create better security and improved organizational flow -- gave board president Dawn Merris a more positive view of the school.
"It really does look very nice in there," Merris said. "I've often asked whether we should tear the building down and start over, and after seeing it renovated, it's got a backbone, and it's (in good shape)."
The project cost $883,290, which was $174,711 less than the $1.058 million budgeted, according to information provided by the district. Bids for the project were approved in March, and it was paid for through existing capital funds.
Also at the meeting, the committee gave permission for bond counsel Brad Remig of Public Financial Management to pursue a bank loan to refinance $7.2 million in 2009 bonds. The loans became eligible for refinancing in August, and Remig said now is a good time to refinance because interests rates have dropped since 2009 and since a spike in summer 2013. Remig estimated the school district could save $307,000 through the process, depending on the results of bank proposals.
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