Selectmen push forward $17.3M plan for Holland Hill School
The project will provide the school, built in 1954, five additional classrooms, a music room, upgrades to the gym, a kitchen addition for more cooler and freezer space, “extensive” work to the all purpose room, and a redone administrative suite, according to architect George Katinger. The bathrooms in the kindergarten and first grade classrooms will be made handicapped-accessible, and all portable classrooms will be eliminated.
The bonding resolution must also be approved by the Board of Finance and the Representative Town Meeting.
“We’ve complied with all the requirements and requests, and believe we are on board with all of this,” Katinger said at the May 31 selectmen meeting.
Initial project estimates were about $20.8 million, prompting requests from town officials that the building committee go back over the projet with a fine tooth comb, and ensure that the proposal properly addressed the education specifications approved by the Board of Education.
“That was a high price tag,” said Chuck Warrington, from Colliers International, the project manager. “There’s been extensive work between the building committee, the Board of Education, and Central Office staff to define the scope.”
Any money unspent, Thomas Quinn, building committee chairman said. Quinn said there is $466,000 budgeted for hazardous material remediation, such as PCBs, and another $500,000 in a separate contingency for any increased remediation costs. “We don’t know what’s in those walls,” Quinn said, but he stressed that contingency can only be used for remediation. If there is additional money needed in other areas, the committee will have to come back to the town, he said.
“We need to get this to the state by June 30,” Quinn said. “It’s critical to us. We don’t know what (reimbursement rate) we’re going to get, but we know it will be more than if we wait until July 1.”
The current state reimbursement rate received by the town is 24.46 percent.
First Selectman Mike Tetreau said meeting that deadline was the reason for Wednesday’s special meeting, so that approvals from all town boards could be secured in time to meet the deadline.
“You came to us early on,” Tetreau said, and there was sticker shock. “Going back and reworking this took a lot of work, and a lot of commitment.”
The renovations are expected to be completed by 2019.
Selectman Chris Tymniak said, “To come back with reduced budget, reduced footprint, and a reexamination of what the ed specs mean, I’m enthused.”
“That number we originally heard was quite shocking,” Selectman Ed Bateson said. “I’m quite content with the number I heard tonight.”