Hightstown schools to complete
$8M roof project

Friday, February 06, 2009
BY NICOLE LYNCH
Special to the Times

HIGHTSTOWN -- In the summer, the noise of construction crews and heavy machinery are nothing new for this regional school district, as the past few summers here have seen a flurry of construction, landscaping and paving projects which have often been completed just days before school opens.

This summer the district will complete what could be one of its most ambitious projects yet: an $8 million roofing project that district officials say they desperately need.

The district has received a $3.2 million state grant toward the project, district officials announced Monday, the same night that the board of education approved $2.8 million in financing for the project, for a total of $6 million of the needed $8 million.

The remaining $2 million will be drawn from the capital reserve fund, leaving about $600,000 in reserve for contingencies, said Superintendent Ron Bolandi. "We've been planning this roof project for over three years," Bo landi said, adding that the careful planning allowed the district to fi nance the project within budget, instead of going out on a costly vot ing referendum.

Consulting architect Bob Garrison, Jr., told the board the $8 million estimate includes all fees and a little wiggle room, in case any por tion of the project turns out to be a little more complicated once under way. The materials that he is recommending, Garrison said, all come with 20 year warranties and require minimal annual mainte nance. "These are top rate compa nies," he said. "Roofing is the most important aspect of our building systems."

Garrison added that the project will help bring some visual consistency to the building, which has been patched or added onto several times over the years.
District administrator Kurt Stumbaugh said the district still has to have a meeting with the state regarding the project, but he anticipates having the bidding process completed in about 60 days. Starting the bidding process as early as possible, he said, will allow the district to get the best prices. Though construction won't begin until the summer, Stumbaugh said, "We are going to do as much preliminary work as possible while the students are here." This preliminary work would include getting materials on site and completing any necessary inspections.

The project, which will repair or replace portions of roofs on five of the district's six schools, is ex pected to be complete for the 2009-2010 school year.

 

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