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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Richetelli to seek more $ for school rehab

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— The cost of renovations to the science labs and minor work at both city high schools has nearly doubled since the funds were allocated two years ago, and Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. said he will seek to authorize the extra spending.
The total cost for the labs and other work will be $8.8 million. The bids, which were recently opened, showed an increase in cost of $4.1 million.
Permanent Schools Building Committee Chairman Matthew Woods said there were 10 bidders for the high school work, and the bids reflect the market. There is a limited number of contractors for these projects, which drives up the price. Also, the architects’ estimates were from years ago, which is why the bids were substantially higher, he said.
But spending the extra money to renovate the science labs this summer will result in a delay for planned additions to both high schools, officials said.
Woods said the committee recently learned that because of the bids it would only have funds to renovate one school’s science labs. He said that resulted in the committee seeking approval from the mayor to increase the bond authorization to ensure both schools are completed.
The science labs were slated to be replaced last summer, but the bids came in higher than anticipated and so the city went out to bid again on the project.
Richetelli said the city had advance notice of the second round of higher bids.
Richetelli said he will seek the authorization of the extra money in March to ensure all of phase 2 work, including the science labs, is completed.
“All of this work needs to be done,” Richetelli said. “We can’t let our facilities get to the point where it’s not usable.”
But he said that will result in the planned additions to both high schools being put off until the summer 2009. The boards of Finance and Aldermen must approve the funds.
Woods said work on the high school additions could have been done at the same time as the renovations to the science labs, but it would have been tough to go out to bid in time for this summer.
Foran’s addition is expected to cost $10 million, while Law’s will cost $5 million.
The low bidder on the Law science labs, which includes replacing some windows, is Connecticut Carpentry. The cost will be $3.35 million.
The low bidder for the Foran work is Paragon, costing $5.53 million.
Work at Foran also includes renovations to the media center, $507,000, and $1.2 million worth of upgrades to the heating, cooling and dehumidification of the swimming pool.
Woods said there was a $1.9 million shortfall for the Law work, and another $2.2 million shortfall for the Foran work. He said the committee discussed eliminating some aspects of the work to try to reduce the costs.
Woods said another $557,000 will be needed to cover architectural and engineering fees, along with leaving a 10 percent contingency for the overall work.
For the past several years, renovations to both Jonathan Law and Joseph A. Foran high schools have been moving along in phases. At Law an elevator was installed, the cafeteria was expanded, and new windows have been installed in the school.
At Foran less work was completed due to the discovery of lead dust in ceiling tiles. The city is working to remove the lead dust. Woods said recently crews began replacing the boilers at both Joseph A. Foran and Jonathan Law High schools. At Law, the boiler work will cost $1.01 million, and at Foran $1.08 million.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the delay? And now look at the cost.
It is sinful how this admin. gets nothing done on time and the costs continue to increase by huge sums. School rehab, sewer and waste treatment, police station roof - oh, but let's tear down City history - moved fast on that. Now we get a replica
Good Going Mr. Mayor!
Of course, he does not have to move fast - he just keeps reaching into the well, our pockets for Big and Unnecessary tax increases

March 23, 2008 at 10:16 AM 

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