Contracts Awarded for Renovations to Former HON Facility

Published 10.10.2002


Pennsylvania College of Technology's Board of Directors has awarded construction contracts totaling $7.33 million for renovations at the former HON manufacturing facility a project that will enable the College to create state-of-the-art instructional space for an additional 100 students.

The total of the bids was nearly $500,000 under projections, allowing the College to undertake additional work at the site, which was acquired through a gift-purchase agreement in 2001.

"We are thrilled with the bids," said Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. "Since they are $470,000 less than projected, we will be able to add a new roof system, paint exposed concrete floors in the Automated Manufacturing and Collision Repair program areas and install a watering system for maintenance of the grounds."

The general contractor for the $7,328,630 project will be Lobar Inc. of Dillsburg, which submitted the lowest of eight general-construction bids at $3,735,000.

Lobar is the general contractor for two other construction projects currently under way on the main campus: the Student and Administrative Services Center at the Maynard Street main entrance and a 365-bed student-housing complex at the west end of campus.

"They are doing an excellent job with both projects," Dr. Gilmour said.

R&J Ertel Inc. of Williamsport submitted the lowest of five bids for the plumbing contract at $757,700. Silvertip Inc. of Lewisburg was the lowest of six bidders for the HVAC contract at $1,178,000. Turnkey Construction Inc. of Williamsport submitted the low bid among eight electrical contractors at $1,292,000. Johnson Controls of Camp Hill was the lone bidder for the facilities management contract at $365,930.

Programs moving to the 104,000-square-foot building are Collision Repair Technology, Automated Manufacturing Technology, Civil Engineering Technology and Surveying Technology. The facility will feature three technology-enhanced classrooms, three computer labs and two large-group-instruction areas.

Placing the large-group-instruction areas in the former HON facility will enable the College to enjoy cost savings on renovations that will be performed at the Klump Academic Center, Dr. Gilmour said. It's fortunate, she said, that the projects are in process simultaneously, and the large-group-instruction areas will not have to be retrofitted into the Academic Center.

The Collision Repair program is moving to the former HON facility from the Parkes Automotive Technology Center, where its growth has been limited by space considerations. The new facility will be a "showcase," for Collision Repair instruction, Dr. Gilmour said.

"We are communicating with industry representatives who are interested in assisting us with the purchase of equipment for the Collision Repair facility," she said. "They have been impressed by the thoroughly modern, state-of-the-art approach taken with our Collision Repair majors."

The Civil Engineering Technology and Surveying Technology programs will move to the renovated HON facility from the basement of the Klump Academic Center. Providing high-tech facilities for those programs will facilitate ongoing growth and development, as well, Dr. Gilmour said.

Relocating the Automated Manufacturing Technology program to the renovated HON facility will create more space in the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center for Plastics and Polymer Technology, Electronics Technology and other academic programs, Dr. Gilmour noted.

The exterior and interior designs for the renovated HON facility will reflect the high-technology focus of the instruction taking place within, Dr. Gilmour said. The main entrance to the facility will be moved to the east side of the building and will be made more attractive with walkways, landscaping and a new surface for the exterior walls.

Traffic lanes will be rerouted to the west side of the building to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians accessing West Third Street.

All of the work is expected to be completed by August 2003.

In February, the Board of Directors approved a 30-year, $31.6 million bond issue to renovate the HON building, construct additional on-campus student housing, refurbish the circa-1913 Academic Center and retrofit other buildings on campus for instructional uses.

The student-housing construction, which will increase the number of beds available in on-campus, College-owned-and-operated housing to more than 1,400, is expected to be completed by August 2003.

In addition, the Klump Academic Center will house the Paramedic Technology major, currently located in rental space at Susquehanna Health System.

The work at the Klump Academic Center will include structural and HVAC upgrades and the renovation of vacated office spaces (those relocating to the Student and Administrative Services Center) for use as classrooms and faculty offices. Those and other renovations there are expected to be completed by August 2004.