Frank Craine, an architect with Peter Gisolfi Associates, the Garden City School District's architectural firm for the capital improvement program, spoke at last Monday's board meeting about the projects and gave updates on the progress at each of the schools, focusing mainly on Stratford Elementary School, which is nearly completed.
Craine noted that what they would like to do is each month give a brief update on each of the projects and highlight one school, which they will provide more details about. In an effort to focus on Stratford at the most recent meeting of the school board, in addition to the typical update, Craine also presented a slide show of before, during and after photos of the project. The new library and cafeteria were the highlight of the presentation, as very few people have gotten to see these nearly completed areas.
Craine explained that at Stratford the portable classrooms have been removed; the sitework on the east access road, which may be used as a drop off area or for minibuses, has begun; they will be working on paving that east access area for parking. He added that they are waiting on the paving because they want to bring the pavement company in at a time when they can do all the paving and not have them come back each time they have an area to be paved.
On the actual building portion of the Stratford, much progress has been made, according to Craine. They are continuing work on the addition where the new library and cafeteria are located. They have received a large shipment of millwork, which is the woodwork which will go around the windows in the addition. Craine stated that by New Year's they hope to complete the millwork. He explained that the library carpeting is being installed but they are waiting for one piece of carpeting, which is the border. Once that border arrives, said Craine, they will complete the carpet installation. The cafeteria, explained Craine, consists of ceramic tile, and will include a wainscoting. In this area, as well as in the library, they have been waiting for the millwork to arrive and now that it has, they will be able to complete that section except for the railings for outside access to the parking lot, which have not yet been delivered, but which Craine expects to be installed shortly.
In the slideshow of Stratford, Craine pointed out the many ways in which they have attempted to return to the original Georgian Architectural character of the school. According to Craine they have worked very hard to be sympathetic to the 1920 style of the school.
At Stewart School, Craine stated that the limestone, which they have been waiting for, has finally arrived. He explained that this is a 1,000 lb. engraved piece of limestone, which he said, "was worth the wait." Once the limestone is installed, according to Craine, they can finish the work on the lobby of the school which is directly behind where the limestone would be and would not have been protected had they not waited for that piece. All the classroom Gyp. boards have been installed and all the classrooms are beginning to be painted. The cabinet work, such as the built in bookcases, are now on site and Craine expects that once the painting is completed those will be installed.
At the middle school, Craine noted that they were receiving the bids for the general construction contract, which had been previously rejected, the following day. After receiving those bids, Craine said they would be meeting with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen Leitman to go over the results and Craine, Construction Manager Joe Guidice from Kreisler Borg Florman (KBF), and Owner's Representative Charles Palagonia would be checking all the references of the qualified bidders. They will also be meeting with the steering committee to consider the bidders.
The architects and KBF will be doing a walk-through between Christmas and New Year's, to do a physical check and identify any potential problems before they go out to bid on that project. They are currently preparing the documents in order to go out to bid on the project on Jan. 8. Craine noted that they have as many eyes as possible doing independent checks on these documents to avoid any potential problems.
The K-1 schools will be the last portion of the project, according to Craine. He noted that they would like to have the high school and middle school out to bid, before preparing the bid documents for the K-1 schools because the high school and middle school are the two largest components of the bond project. He added that if they get those two large portions of the project out of the way, those working on the project will have a better idea where they stand in regard to the budget. In addition, said Craine, they thought that rather than putting all five of these schools out to bid at once, they would have better competition if, after a company loses one bid they are then handed the next bid documents and given the opportunity to bid on that project. "That's worked quite well because it seems once we have the pool of bidders in hand, it's very easy to keep that competition going," said Craine.
Following Craine's presentation the public was given an opportunity to ask questions or comment, at which time one resident commended the board on "a job well done at Stratford."
School Board Trustee Ken Monaghan noted they don't have a date yet but the district will be setting a date, hopefully in the near future, for a ribbon-cutting at Stratford.