LANSDALE — The North Penn School Board has taken the next step toward three large building projects, but the work still has several steps left before any of those projects become a reality.

The board voted unanimously Thursday night to authorize staff to prepare a request for proposals seeking construction management services on planned renovations of North Penn High School, the high school's Crawford Stadium, and Knapp Elementary School.

"When you hire a construction management firm, they help review the design, they participate in the design process, and they also become familiar with the project so they can manage the construction when it actually occurs," said district Director of Facilities and Operations Scott Kennedy.

"Some of the design is occurring now, but we're going to bring them on before the documents are finalized," he said.

Over the past several months, staff and the school board have held lengthy public discussions about each major project, and gave updates on each at a special facilities forum meeting on April 9.

The Knapp project is meant to replace aging utilities and add extra space so modular classrooms can be removed, while the Crawford Stadium project will increase accessibility and replace the current field surface with artificial turf and an expanded track, to be used for multiple sports.

The high school project could include a new addition to house ninth grade students, who would be moved from the three district middle schools, while the rest of the high school's several buildings are overhauled to modernize their utilities and spaces. All three projects are still in the design process, and Kennedy said Thursday the construction management firm will be another voice in that process.

"The architects are working now, and we're going to hire the construction manager, hopefully they'll start in the fall," Kennedy said.

"They (the school board) authorized me to issue an RFP, to go out and search for them, so it'll be two or three months before we get them on board," he said.

As of right now, the tentative timelines are to finish design on the Crawford Stadium project in September and bid it out in November, while the Knapp design will likely be done in January 2020, bid out in February, with construction starting likely that May.

"The high school is still to be determined — it's a couple of years out," Kennedy said.

Costs for each project have been estimated at roughly $5.2 million for Crawford, $25 million to $27 million for Knapp, and $160 million to $180 million for the high school, and Kennedy said the construction management costs won't be known until the RFP responses are in, but estimates are included in the so-called "soft costs" figures for each project.

Updates on all three will be given via the board's facilities and operations committee, and Kennedy said the public will have months to share their thoughts on each project before the designs are finalized and bids awarded.

"It's another set of eyes on the documents," he said.

In a separate vote Thursday night, the board also authorized staff to file an application with Towamencin Township's zoning hearing board for the Crawford project. Costs for that request include a $2,500 application fee, along with hourly rates for the district's architect and solicitor working on that project, according to District Director of Business Administration Steve Skrocki.

That motion was approved by a seven to two vote, with board members Ed Diasio and Terry Prykowski voting against; both have said they oppose spending on the Crawford project ahead of the other two larger projects.

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