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Hampton Street School Project Gets State Approval

Main construction bid still up for grabs

The Hampton Street School project received State approval on Nov. 16. However, it’s going to have to wait a bit longer. Superintendent Michael Nagler revealed at the Nov. 17 business meeting that the district rejected one of four bids on the construction project.

According to Nagler, the project was priced out by law in four parts. In projects like this, districts price out electrical, the plumbing, HVAC (heating, venting, air-conditioning) and general contracting work.

The general contracting bid was rejected, which is the biggest piece of the project. Nagler said the project could take about eight months to be completed once all bids were accepted.

“We opened bids [on Nov. 16] for the Hampton project for four different trades, the general contractor being the largest,” Nagler said. “We think we can get a better price. So we’re going to go out and re-bid just this part of the project. We’re going to treat the bid a little differently and ask for specifics in how they got their totals.”

The bid will be reopened either the Monday or Tuesday after Thanksgiving or when the advertisement for the bid is published in print. Nagler stated that all four bids would be awarded at the next workshop meeting on Dec. 1.

“Our biggest concern is breaking ground and getting the concrete in the ground and [contractors] assure me that there is no issue in doing that, even in cold weather.”

Trustee John McGrath was concerned about the general construction bid, stating it was his impression that, “it came in low.”

“[The bid] came in with a varying degree between the high bid and the low bid,” Nagler said. “It was a great discrepancy. So we think we can get better bids as we go out. We’re going to add some alternates to make sure that the prices that we’re getting are accurate for the work we want done.”

Nagler said as long as the district has time to check out the project and make sure everything’s right, construction could begin right away.

Nagler met with CHAP (Committee on the Hampton Addition Project) on Jan. 5 and 26. The committee was comprised of parents, teachers and some “interested residents” and principals from the school district.

Nagler and Finance Superintendent Jack Waters accompanied district architectural firm H2M for a preliminary meeting with the State Education Department (SED) in Albany in January to review the project. H2M reported to the board in February on the progress of the addition project.

The proposed 5,500 sq. ft. addition would be on the north side of the building, running along the sidewalk toward Colonial Avenue. The existing sidewalk would be made into a corridor that overlooks a new courtyard, which would provide an educational space with curriculum-based plantings.

Architects said they wanted to make it fun for the children, so the group came up with an idea of having hanging sculptures from the ceiling. The fixtures would look like jumbled letters, but have the message “Reading is Fun” hidden inside.

H2M showcased computer images of the space. The design would also incorporate energy efficient light fixtures. The book stacks would be 42 inches in height, enabling the children to reach the books but also allow the librarian at the circulation desk to oversee the entire space.

The project’s construction cost cannot exceed $2.1 million. The district awarded the contract to the lowest responsible bidder. Four major contractors came in under the maximum cost.

“We got some really good prices,” Nagler said.

According to Nagler, some other concerns brought up at the CHAP meetings were the windows. The project calls for an extensive number of windows, which, Nagler stated in the past, are quite expensive.

A comparison was done between a traditional brick construction opposed to the “curtain—wall” windows and the difference price was about $33,000, not including any windows to be put in the brick, according to Nagler.