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School officials want $820K for Osborn Hill PCB cleanup

Published 7:11 am, Thursday, December 13, 2012
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The Board of Education is asking town officials to allocate $820,000 to clean up PCB contamination and related costs at Osborn Hill Elementary School.

The proposed request for $820,613, approved by the school board Tuesday, comes almost two months after school officials told the Board of Finance that costs had climbed to $721,842, not including the cost to remove the potentially carcinogenic PCBs from the still-closed gym at the Stillson Road school.

Superintendent of Schools David Title said the request still does not include money needed to clean up the gym. Those funds will be requested as a simple capital project in conjunction with the window replacement project at the school estimated at $791,400.

"This is for remediation to date and continuing in other parts of the building," he said.

Title said the school board would need to act on the funding request Tuesday in an effort to get it before the Board of Selectmen for its Dec. 19 meeting, the Board of Finance for its first meeting in January and the Representative Town Meeting at the end of January to ensure its availability for the first week of June.

If the board waited to approve the funding closer to the end of the fiscal year, then there would be insufficient time to try to get the funds approved before the close of the fiscal year if the other funding boards reject it.

According to documents from the school district's business office, $320,005.12 has been spent on the problem so far, including $142,720 on PCB sampling and duct cleaning. Another $306,447.95 is earmarked for unspent purchase orders, including $102,648 for a temporary gym, $33,455 for environmental consultants Woodard & Curran and $77,917 for abatement and specialized cleaning.

The request includes another $194,160 in projected costs associated with the discovery of PCBs in several areas of the school in the spring during initial phases of the window replacement project. Foreseen expenditures consist of $97,360 for testing and inspection services as well as operation and maintenance plan work by AMC Environmental.

mjuliano@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561, ext. 112; twitter.com/mjulianoadv