Blasting Begins at High School Renovation Site

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STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY – Crews are working to clear the grounds to the right of the State High South building, right above the Welch Community Pool.

This caps off the first month of work for the project, which is expected to last through 2018 and cost around $117 million.

“It’s a good, visible step that the project is underway and moving,” Tim Jones, Project Manager, said. “Anytime you see Earth moving, it’s rewarding.”

Jones calls is progress.

“As the contractors go through their digging, where they encounter rock, the blasting contractor will come out and drill a series of holes,” he said. “If they find rock, they will load the holes with the charge.”

Jones said blasting was the most cost-effective way to prepare this site and one that won’t be too disruptive for neighbors.

“There are seismographs in the school and near some of the apartment complexes that measure some of the ground movement,” he said. “The amount of explosives and the proximity will not pose any risks to outside structures.”

This fall, the backside of the South building will be the new main entrance and the front of the building will be blocked off for construction. The site they’re blasting now will be a new roadway for easy access.

“This project has been talked about for well over a decade and this is very meaningful to our district, our community,” Ed Poprik, Director of Physical Plant for the school district, said.

Poprik is excited to see the work moving forward, but knows there’s a long road ahead.

“We’re one month into a 36 to 40 month project, so the good news is, we’re right on schedule,” he said. “Of course, you have to temper that a little bit with the fact that we still have a good 38 or 39 months left, which is 2018 until we’re done, but so far, so good and we’re on schedule.”

Construction on this particular part of the project is expected to wrap up by the end of the summer.

To learn more about the project and its progress, click here.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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