W-B Area Conditionally Awards Construction Contracts For New School

March 28, 2019

PLAINS TWP. — The Wilkes-Barre Area School District plan for a new consolidated high school is moving ahead with 11 recommended construction contracts.

The school board voted 8-1 Wednesday to conditionally award the 11 contracts, which will cost a total of $88.2 million. The district will sign the 11 contracts after the state Department of Education approves the sixth phase of the project, solicitor Raymond Wendolowski said.

Before the vote, attorney and project critic Kim Borland said the board should wait for state approval before awarding the contracts. Borland said the district has already spent millions of dollars on plans that failed to get approval from other agencies and “was about to do it again.”

Wendolowski said he saw no need to wait and is confident the district will get state approval in about a week. Wednesday’s meeting was at the Solomon Plains school complex in Plains Twp.

The new high school will allow the consolidation of all three district high schools — Meyers, GAR and Coughlin — before or during the 2021-22 school year. The construction contracts will include incentives to finish the project by May 2021 so the school will be ready before the 2021-22 school year starts, Superintendent Brian Costello said Wednesday.

The district has finalized a bond issue to borrow $124 million for the project between Maffett and North Main streets in Plains Twp.


The district plans to get around $24 million in state reimbursement funds to make debt payments over the years, Costello said.

The school district opened construction bids for the project March 8 and awarded contracts to “the lowest responsible bidders” after a review of the bids. Base bids from the awarded contracts total $82.7 million, and alternate additions total $5.5 million.

“I am pleased to inform you that bids came in very favorably,” Costello said. “This will allow us to award the bids with the recommended alternates and include an athletic facility on campus.”

An alternate to add a natatorium will cost more than $2.7 million. Another alternate is installing bullet-resistant glass for $96,550.

The 11 construction contracts conditionally awarded are for the following: site work; building shell, elevators and pool; metal framing, drywall and acoustical ceilings; general trades; food service equipment; fire protection; plumbing; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; electrical; landscaping; and aluminum and glass.

During the meeting, Wendolowski addressed environmental concerns at the site due to previous mining activity there. The district is consulting with the state Department of Environmental Protection, and environmental safety measures will prevent exposure to potentially harmful soil, Wendolowski said.

The site was used as culm ash disposal site as part of a mine reclamation project. The ash has been sealed, and that location is far away from the planned building, Wendolowski said.

Contact the writer:


570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer



Site work: Stell Enterprises Inc., Plains Twp.:

Base bid: $11,376,000; Alternates: $600,326; TOTAL: $11,976,326


Building shell: Quandel Construction Group Inc., Harrisburg

Base bid: $29,950,000; Alternates: $2,601,000; TOTAL: $32,551,000


Drywall/ceilings: Duggan & Marcon Inc., Allentown

Base bid: $2,998,000; Alternates: $47,000; TOTAL: $3,045,000


General trades: Quandel Construction Group Inc., Harrisburg

Base bid: $13,600,000; Alternates: $582,000; TOTAL: $14,182,000


Food service equipment: 11400 Inc., Lancaster

Base bid: $787,000; Alternates: $0; TOTAL: $787,000


Fire protection: Triangle Fire Protection Inc., Carlisle

Base bid: $989,960; Alternates: $17,870; TOTAL: $1,007,830


Plumbing: Benell Inc., Bloomsburg

Base bid: $4,870,000; Alternates: $69,000; TOTAL: $4,939,000


HVAC: Scranton Sheet Metal Inc., Scranton

Base bid: $9,106,412; Alternates: $823,500; TOTAL: $9,929,912


Electrical: Everon Electrical Contractors Inc., Scranton

Base bid: $7,349,790; Alternates: $538,893; TOTAL: $7,888,683


Landscaping: Green Valley Landscaping, Plains Twp.

Base bid: $267,762; Alternates: $73,691; TOTAL: $341,453


Aluminum/glass: Sterling Glass Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.

Base bid: $1,444,000; Alternates: $116,750; TOTAL: $1,560,750