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Contracts Awarded for Penn College Student-Housing Project

Lobar Inc. of Dillsburg will be the general contractor for a construction project that will add new student housing adjacent to Pennsylvania College of Technology’s College West Apartments.

The College’s Board of Directors approved bids submitted by Lobar and four other contractors. The new project will enlarge College housing by 365 beds, bringing the total number of beds available on the main campus to more than 1,400.

“This project addresses a critical need for additional high-quality, College-operated student housing,” Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour said. “This fall, we will establish a new enrollment record, and as we attract more students from outside the traditional core recruiting area of northcentral Pennsylvania, we will continue to reassess the demand for on-campus housing as we strive to meet the needs of students and their families. We also plan to work more closely with private landlords who provide off-campus student housing.”

Construction on the project will begin soon and is expected to be completed in time for Fall 2003 occupancy.

Lobar’s base bid of $7.67 million was the lowest among 10 general-contracting firms submitting bids. The plumbing contract was awarded to W.G. Tomko & Sons Inc. of Hummels Wharf, which submitted a base bid of $1.22 million, the lowest among four firms. The heating contract went to Billtown Mechanical Corp. of South Williamsport, the lowest among five bidders at $1.19 million. The electrical contract was awarded to S.R.S. Electric of Finleyville, which submitted the low bid among four firms at $1.36 million. The control-system contract was awarded to Johnson Controls of Camp Hill, which submitted the lone bid of $451,290.

Murray Associates Architects of Harrisburg is designing the facility, which will feature two four-story buildings providing an additional 130,000 square feet of space. The buildings will sport brick-and-stucco exteriors and will house two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio apartment units. The 365 beds include 356 for students, eight for Resident Assistants and one for a professional staff member.

Current College facilities for student housing include the 414-bed College West, which was acquired for $7.65 million in 2000. The College also owns and operates The Village at Penn College and Campus View Apartments, which provide 320 and 336 beds respectively.

In May, the College undertook a 30-year, $31.5 million bond issue to finance the new student housing, renovations to the former HON Industries manufacturing facility and the Klump Academic Center, and the retrofitting of several other buildings on campus for additional instructional uses.

The 104,000-square-foot HON facility, which was acquired through a gift-purchase arrangement, will be renovated to house the Collision Repair, Civil Engineering Technology and Automated Manufacturing programs. New classrooms and large-group-instruction and computer rooms also will be included. The facility also will receive exterior, parking-lot and traffic-routing improvements. The work is expected to be completed by the Fall 2003 semester.

Work on the circa-1913 Academic Center will include renovating vacated office spaces those relocating to the Student and Administrative Services Center, currently under construction for use as classrooms and faculty offices.

Other work includes repairing or replacing the front steps and paved areas, repointing the facade, and installing central air-conditioning, a new heating system, new rest-room fixtures, and a new fire-alarm system. The work is expected to be completed by the Fall 2004 semester.

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