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Meriden School Construction Update

Hanover addition is ahead of schedule, Maloney renovation plans were submitted for state review, and the Platt design is still under budget.

 

Architects for the three major school construction projects in Meriden gave the School Building Committee nothing but good news at Thursday night’s monthly meeting.

The Hanover Elementary addition is ahead of schedule, an initial state review of Maloney makeover design documents went smoothly, and plans for the Platt renovation are still under budget.

Hanover Kindergarten Addition Could Be Complete in October

Bob Andrade, architect for the new addition to , told the committee that construction has been proceeding swiftly over the summer. The new addition that will house the school’s inaugural full-day kindergarten program next year will likely be ready in October rather than in January, according to the contractor’s estimate.

Originally, the addition was supposed to be finished before the start of the 2012-13 school year. The deadline was pushed back to January of 2013, however, due to a delay in getting EPA approval for removal of toxic PCBs found in the existing building. The estimated completion date is now closer to the original date, Andrade reported.

The new addition will house not just Hanover kindergartners, but also kindergartners from the now overflowing . Until the addition is complete, the kindergartners will use temporary classrooms at the school, according to Hanover Principal Miguel Cardona.

Architects: State Review of Maloney Makeover ‘Went Very Well’

On July 24, Fletcher Thompson, architects for the renovation, met with officials from the Connecticut Bureau of School Facilities for a state review of the design plans. They were asked to return for a second day on July 26, which is “not uncommon,” according to Angela Cahill, project manager for Fletcher Thompson.

“The review went very well,” Cahill told the committee. The Bureau of School Facilities made some corrections to the plans. “We’ve already completed all of those corrections as of today,” Cahill said.

The architects are slated to return to the state review board next week with revised documents. The official state review period is scheduled to begin in the middle of August and last for 30 days. Construction bids will then go out as of November 1. The bidding process takes about six weeks, according to Cahill.

“That would be our Christmas present--to get the bids in and be under budget,” she said. The latest estimates put the cost of the project at $107.4 million.

If the Bureau of School Facilities can’t commit to completing its review in 30 days, the School Building Committee Thursday night authorized its chairman to use an independent reviewer that will get the job done within that time limit. Fletcher Thompson has already gotten bids for an independent review, which would cost about $30,000 to $35,000, Cahill said.

When asked whether not having state officials complete the review could cause problems for the project down the line, Glen Lamontagne assured the group that it would not. Lamontagne has served as the school system’s facilitator for the dual high school renovation project since its inception.

“A third-party review is a more thorough code review,” he said. “It’s not a bad thing to have a third-party review. Right now, time is a big focus.”

Platt Project Still Under Budget

The renovation now has a price tag of $109,063,987—about $2.7 million under the original budget—according to the latest cost estimate presented by O & G Industries, construction mangers for the Platt project. That cost, however, doesn’t include a full-fly system for the auditorium.

Incorporating a full-fly system, which would allow the curtains and scenery to be raised vertically off the stage rather than horizontally, would add about $2.4 million to the cost, said Bruce Gelbar, cost estimator for O & G. The project would still be within its original budget, but just barely.

School officials have said they want both Platt and Maloney to have full-fly systems if they can be added within the budgets approved by the city council—a combined $216.7 million.

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