Last updated: April 01. 2014 11:27PM - 1685 Views
By Janine Ungvarsky Times Leader Correspondent

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BEAR CREEK TWP. — The bids are in and the decision-making process is underway for the new Bear Creek Community Charter School.

At a meeting Monday, the school’s board of trustees, administrators and architect discussed the bids as well as bid deduct alternates that will factor into the final cost of the more than $12 million project.

Administrators and board members seemed in agreement that locker rooms for the gym would be put on hold until a future time and also that items that would affect safety and the efficiency of classrooms should be left in place.

The board expressed a preference for keeping items that make a positive impact on the environment such as LED lights and automatic sinks and toilets, but said things such as an outdoor classroom and a pond pier that could be added with relative ease after the fact might wait.

The next steps include calculating the repayment cost of the construction loan and the impact this will have on the school’s operating budget to help finalize the construction budget.

The board also discussed doing due diligence background checks on the prospective contractors in anticipation of bids being awarded within about 30 days, and interviewed Bob Becker as part of their ongoing process to choose an on-site representative for the project.

The construction project is expected to get final land development approval at the Bear Creek Township meeting on April 7.

In other business, the board approved the transition of third-grade teacher Susan Stoddard to first grade, and ratified the purchase of a 2015 GMC Sierra 3500HD work truck from Star GMC through the state Costars contract at a cost not to exceed $32,722. The truck will replace one involved in an accident earlier this year.

The board also heard a report from school CEO Jim Smith about a recent meeting he took part in with Wilkes-Barre Area School District Superintendent Dr. Bernard Prevuznak as well as representatives of vocational and parochial schools within the district that share busing services.

Smith said the meeting went well and should lead to collaboration and better coordinated school calendars that should save taxpayers money on busing.

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