Facilities board scrutinizing big-ticket high school renovations
Published 7:25 am, Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Fairfield Board of Education has approved educational specifications for both the Fairfield Warde High School re-roofing project and the window replacement/rehabilitation project at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.
The cost of the two projects is not yet known, but they have been referred to the Town Facilities Commission, a group of volunteer architects, designers, engineers and builders formed to assist the education board. However, estimates for the roofing project have ranged between $3 million on the low end to $7 million on the high end, according to First Selectman Kenneth Flatto. The window project has been estimated as much as $3 million, but Flatto said the TFC, at least in a preliminary review, said it may end up costing $ 2 million.
The TFC, which is serving as the building committee for the Warde project, has secured approval for $35,000 to hire an architect.
"The architect will provide documents which will be estimated," said Al Kelly, TFC chairman. "At that time we will go through the funding process again, working with the elected town bodies on how they would like to fund the roof project. After we have secured funding approval from the elected town bodies, the project will be submitted to the State of Connecticut Bureau of School Facilities for review and approval in order to secure state reimbursement for the project. After BSF approval we can then go out to bid on the project."
Though it appears most of the roof system will need replacement, some sections, installed in 1990, received "the most durable roof membrane in the business" according to Flatto, and can possibly last another decade.
As for the windows at Ludlowe, some are originals from when the school opened in 1949.
"We're hoping to have a price estimate and request for bonding to be submitted to the town bodies in the next few months," he added.
Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Pamela Iacono said she hopes the windows and the roof at Ludlowe and Warde, respectively, will be "finally fixed to the taxpayers' satisfaction."
She added, "They're town-owned buildings and we want to make sure they last a long time."
Iacono said she appreciates the work of the TFC, adding, "It's nice to have a second set of eyes to look at things."