Secondary West Campus Safety & Security Project Part Two: The Finances

In Part Two of the series, we’ll discuss the financial aspect of this project, including where the money came from and how exactly it will be used.


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An aerial photo taken of the brand new Dallastown High School football stadium taken in 1959.

Dallastown High School’s iconic football stadium is undergoing major renovations. The center concrete section of bleachers, built in 1958, is just one area that will undergo a much-needed transformation.

The Secondary West Campus Safety and Security Project, which includes the stadium, parking, and traffic aspects, has been in the works for over 15 years.  

The funds to pay for the project have also been a long time in the making, coming from a bond taken by the school district in 2017. 

A bond is a type of loan, typically taken out by a school district to finance a building project. 

In our case, $30 million was borrowed: about $22 million to renovate and expand Loganville-Springfield Elementary School and about $8 million for this project.  Some of the $8 million was used for roof restoration on the secondary campus so the district needed to supplement funding for the project.

This project was slated to begin during the 2021-2022 school year but was pushed back due to a few issues.

“We spent extensive time at the Administrative and Board of Director level ensuring we developed a design that met our most pressing needs, yet prepared us for our future,” Dallastown superintendent Dr. Josh Doll said.

It wasn’t that the school was indecisive; there were many aspects of the project to be considered including design, egress, security, and safety considerations. Eventually, with finalized plans, the project could move along.

 Bids went out to various contractors and unfortunately, one bid was received for the general contractor and no bids were received for the electrical work. Due to higher-than-anticipated costs because of inflation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and low-bidder response, the district did not accept the bids. 

According to Econlib, “Inflation is the loss in purchasing power of a currency unit…usually expressed as a general rise in the prices of goods and services.”

The district reallocated funds based on the higher cost of materials and the bids were sent out again in April 2022 and this time, they came back within the district’s budget.

The project was finalized in May of 2022, with the exact cost of the entire project being $7,658,405.

How does that large total break down? 

The project’s general contractor is eciConstruction, LLC. The general contractor coordinates and executes the construction, which in this case, amounts to $4,169,000.

The mechanical contractor is MidState Mechanical & Electrical, responsible for the heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems, adding up to $291,329.

The plumbing work will also be handled by MidState Mechanical & Electrical. They will handle the water supply, septic systems, and the creation of restrooms, costing $280,000.

The electrical contractor for this project is Lobar, Inc. Electrical contractors install, repair, maintain and alter wires, fixtures, and tubes. Dallastown will be paying Lobar, Inc. $966,370.

Since the press box sits on top of the concrete bleachers, it’s coming down as well.

According to Athletic Director Mr. Luckenbaugh, the box is no longer watertight; frequently the electronics inside are in danger of being ruined when it rains. The entire press box has rusted and the floor is extremely uneven.

As a result, Dallastown has contracted Stadium Solutions, Inc. for both the construction of a new press box and the new bleachers, costing a total of $629,500.

It is also important to note that all the stadium lights all around the field are being replaced since the current lights are not within building codes. Musco Sports Lighting LLC is being contracted and will be paid $295,000.

Another vital piece to any construction project is finding a qualified architect.

 For Loganville-Springfield and this project, Dallastown hired RLPS Architects, a Lancaster architect firm known for combining the old with the new, which is exactly what Dallastown wants to do with this project.

“The district has worked with RLPS for over five years and has been extremely pleased with the collaboration and response from RLPS based on the district’s perspective when it comes to the design of our district facilities,” Mr. Kurt Rohrbaugh, Director of Business Operations at DASD stated.

As previously mentioned, the metal bleachers on either side of the concrete bleachers are staying. They are not being torn down, so the construction must be able to successfully implement the new bleachers into the old ones.

The section of concrete bleachers at Wildcat Stadium being torn down including the dilapidated press box. (Lydia Flemmens)

The difference between contractors and architects is an important distinction.

Architects are responsible for creating designs that contractors ultimately implement. To put it simply, architects draw and contractors build.

Architects have to draw the plans in accordance with all the safety codes and laws for the state of Pennsylvania.

“The contractor has to follow the same codes but they follow the drawings directly from the architect,” Mr. Kurt Rohrbaugh, Director of Business Operations at DASD, says.

Additionally, there is a financial portion of any building project called soft costs.

 “Soft costs…are for things like construction contingency, technology, fixtures/equipment, construction manager, and other permits and fees associated with the project,” Rohrbaugh said.

Dallastown will have additional financial expenses due to stadium-based events needing to happen elsewhere through the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

There will be a separate article dealing solely with the impacts of the Secondary West Campus Safety and Security Project on items like the spring sports season and graduation, so be on the lookout for that!

To preview, spring sports that usually take place in the stadium such as track and field and lacrosse will be held on other on-campus fields, or be all ‘away’ meets. 

That means more buses will need to be utilized to transport athletes.

Dallastown spends an average of $300 for each bus that leaves campus for a sporting event. This covers the bus driver’s pay, fuel, and bus maintenance. That cost varies depending on how long the bus will be at the alternate location and how long it takes to get there, but the average is $300.

Although this may add up, money is being saved elsewhere: graduation.

It’s common knowledge at this point that Dallastown’s Class of 2023 will not graduate on the football field, as has been our tradition. 

Instead, Dallastown is renting out the York Fair’s Expo Center for that evening. This will cost $8,600 but much more money is being saved at the same time.

A graphic rendering of what the new concrete bleacher section and the building underneath will resemble.

Setting up for graduation at Dallastown is usually a huge undertaking.

The Building and Grounds staff puts in a lot of extra hours every year to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. They arrange complete setups both outdoors on the field and indoors in the case of rain. 

Money is spent paying staff overtime, as well as renting equipment (chairs, the sound system, etc.). 

It is estimated that by holding our graduation at the York Fair, Dallastown will save all the money spent on the actual York Fair fee and all the bussing to alternative locations for sporting events. 

Though many are not happy about the change of location for graduation, it’s not possible to please everybody.

“Unfortunately when you do projects like this, someone is always affected. This project has been needed for years. I guess you have to focus on the positives. With the indoor venue, the date is set and won’t be changed due to the weather. It’s also the earliest graduation we’ve ever had,” says Josh Luckenbaugh, Dallastown’s athletic director. 

For more information about the Secondary West Campus Safety and Security project, please reference the article below, featuring a detailed description of the project, as well as a timeline.