MAR LIN — The Schuylkill County Area Vocational Technical School board on Monday 
hired a construction manager to replace the roofs at the Schuylkill Technology Centers
in Mar Lin and Frackville.

In a unanimous vote at the meeting at the Maple Avenue Campus, the STC board hired Performance Construction Services Inc., Pottsville, an affiliate of Quandel, Minersville,
for the job.

The total project cost should come to $1,710,000, about $800,000 less than anticipated, according to Brian A. Manning, business manager for STC and Schuylkill Intermediate
 Unit 29.

A few months ago, the board was planning to hire The Garland Co., a roofing 
manufacturer it had worked with numerous times, to do the project for $2.519 million, 
Manning said.

But in September, the board decided to consider other options.
“You may recall that I asked the board to create a roof committee to investigate
alternatives to the no-bid Garland deal. Well, my gut was right and the savings are 
estimated at $800,000,” a member of the board, David Frew of Pine Grove Area, said
 in an email to the newspaper Nov. 2.

In September, Frew suggested the STC board form a committee to research options. 
It included Frew and STC board members Jay Hanley of Mahanoy Area, Michael 
Holobetz of Saint Clair Area and Larry A. Wittig of Tamaqua Area.

Frew said a few firms were considered for the job.
At the meeting, the board entered into an agreement with Performance Construction
Services Inc. for the design-phase, the pre-construction phase and the construction
 phase of the roof replacement projects.

In its report to the board on “preliminary budget data,” Performance Construction 
estimated the replacement of the 65,000-square-foot roof at the North building in 
Frackville would cost $975,000, and the replacement of the 25,000-square-foot roof at 
the South building in Mar Lin would cost $375,000.

The soft costs should come to $360,000, according to the report.
They include: the architect, engineer, roofing consultant observation fees, $100,000; the construction management supervision fees, $150,000; the legal and print advertising
 and the bid document reproduction, $20,000; the building permits, $30,000; and a
4.5 percent construction contingency allowance, $60,000.

“The savings to the member school districts is expected to be almost $800,000. 
The Garland project was going to be done through a U.S. Communities deal and it 
wouldn’t have had to be bid in the literal sense of having to go out on the open market.
So their contract number was a not-to-exceed number,” Frew said at Monday’s meeting.

That was $2.519 million, Manning said.

“So they were both the manufacturer and the installer and the designer, and it was 
specified just for their product, they have a much better control on what the cost’s 
going to be. So it was expected that they would come in a few percentage points lower
than that,” Frew said.

“The deal with Quandel, or Performance Construction Services, is different. We hired them to represent us as our design professional. They put a budget number together and said, ‘this is what we reasonably expect the cost of the project to be’ based on all the parameters they’ve established,” Frew said.

“It is our understanding that the owner has obtained budget pricing for the roof
 replacement project under a state contract Master Intergovernmental Cooperative
 Purchasing Agreement arrangement that exceeds $2.5 million. The state contract
procurement, while convenient, may not offer the most competitive approach to this 
type of work. Our experience with other school districts is that better pricing can be 
obtained from the marketplace via competitive bids vs. the state contract. We have seen this with roof replacement projects, athletic field projects, fixture/furniture packages,
 Performance Construction said in its proposal to the board.

Performance Construction suggested the STC roofs be replaced with an EPDM synthetic rubber roofing membrane, “a rubber roof,” Frew said.

“Our objective is to provide a watertight roof on the buildings that has a 30-year 
warranty with a no-dollar limit. So if it fails in year 29, there’s no cost to the member 
districts,” Frew said.

The board anticipates the roof project will be complete sometime in summer 2018, he 
said. They agreed to have the roof substantially complete one week before the start of
 school,” Frew said.

Also present at Monday’s meeting were: Scott Jacoby of Schuylkill Haven Area, 

Gretchen Ulmer of Minersville Area, Mary Jo Moss of Blue Mountain, Charles “Chaz”
 Hepler of North Schuylkill, Helene Creasy of Shenandoah Valley and John Mika of 
Williams Valley.

Absent were: Scott Thomas of Pottsville Area, Holobetz, Roger Heidlebaugh of 
Tri-Valley and Larry A. Wittig of Tamaqua Area.

In other matters, the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29 Board of Directors also held its 
November meeting at the Maple Avenue Campus on Monday.
Contact the writer:; 570-628-6011


U.S. Communities, and Garland use a "Predatory Sales Model", and I can easily refute their claims.  It is NEVER OKAY to get roofing quotes from only 1 manufacturer, and
 especially when a Purchasing Cooperative is involved.  The Purchasing Cooperative gets paid approximately 2%, and therefor have no incentive to seek fair pricing.  It's a scam, and nothing more.

I hope this information helps your schools.  That is the sole puurpose of this site.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking 'UP".

NOTE: Retired 2003, I do not solicit nor accept compensation or personal advancement of any kind.
I am happy to hwlp anyone who needs me.


Robert R. Solomon
Public Procurement Analyst
State Certified Roofing Contractor (retired)
CCC 1325620