Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 10, 2013

‘Process moving along’ for new high school atop Haystack Mountain

Committee meeting with architect next week; demolition major part of construction

CUMBERLAND — The process for writing the request for proposal for construction of the new Allegany High School has begun, according to Vince Montana, facilities director for the Allegany County Board of Education.

“The process is moving along,” said Montana during the Tuesday work session of the BOE. “I have RFPs from several school districts and two state projects.”

The RFPs range from eight pages to 145 pages, according to Montana, who noted he was working on compiling all that information to address the specific needs.  

The board of education’s committee will meet next week with the architect to discuss the results of the visioning sessions that were conducted for the new school and the next steps for demolition of the former Western Maryland Health System Braddock campus building, according to Montana.

“The civil engineer has been on site the past two weeks preparing detailed site surveys,” said Montana. “That is an integral part of the demolition, and the demolition is an integral part of the the construction.”

Montana recently met with representatives from a salvage company based in Indiana that specializes in salvage and resale of industrial size mechanical equipment such as boilers, chillers, cooling towers, pumps and electrical components.

“They are very interested in the equipment at Braddock campus,” said Montana. “We have a decision to make and we will be consulting with the architect on whether to proceed with that.”

The other option would be to allow the demolition contractors to convey the cost of the salvage into their bid, according to Montana. The BOE and the county will each be putting in $1 million for the demolition portion, according to Mike Llewellyn, board member. Llewellyn voiced concerns about where the extra money from the salvageable materials would go.

“We are counting on that salvage to discount that demolition contract,” said Llewellyn. “We want to make sure it goes back it to what it was originally intended for and that was the demolition contract.”

The money from salvageable materials will go back into the BOE’s general fund account unless it involves grant money, according to Randy Bittinger, director of finance for Allegany County Public Schools. Bittinger said he thought that through a previous consent agenda item the board was given the authority to see that any funds go back into the school construction fund.

“I’ll check the agenda items for the past couple of months and if we didn’t do that we will get it on the August agenda,” said Bittinger.  

An asbestos abatement contractor began working at the site June 3, according to Montana. The non-asbestos material has been removed from the medical office building and the diagnostic center.

“They began last week building the containment areas for the asbestos for the main building,” said Montana. “Every section where they are removing asbestos has to be completely isolated. They have air intake, air exhaust and the air is filtered on both sides to prevent any asbestos being released into the environment.”

The RFP for the project states that the design architect will be charged with calculating an estimate for recyclable materials, according to Montana.

“When the demolition contractors bid they will have an idea of the amount of material in there even before they make their own on-site inspections,” said Montana.

The total cost of the Allegany project is projected to be $41.4 million, with $27.936 million to be covered by the state.

In other school project news, the board voted during its regular meeting to consider accepting a bid for the roof replacement at Westmar Middle School. The board was recently notified by the state’s Public School Construction Program that the Maryland Board of Public Works approved partial funding for the roof replacement.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

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