Proposed projects could cost $306,200

Cary Ashby • Apr 12, 2019 at 2:00 PM

The Norwalk City Schools board of education heard a preliminary list of proposed permanent improvement projects Tuesday.

Kelly Ross, director of support services, shared a list of nearly 20 projects with a total estimated cost of $306,200. The list covered all of the school buildings, the bus garage on St. Mary’s Street and administration building on Whittlesey Avenue.

Board members requested Ross obtain quotes for each project.

Also on the preliminary list was the proposed replacement of a vehicle for $32,000. The district has three maintenance vehicles and a food truck.

“The newest maintenance vehicle is a 2004. … We need to replace our 1999 Ford,” said Ross after the meeting, noting she has received “very high” quotes to repair the Ford.

Board member John Lendrum, during Tueday’s meeting, suggested the money to replace a vehicle should come from the general fund instead of permanent improvement (P.I.) money. He said voters who supported a P.I. levy did so with the expectation the school would use the money to make improvements to the district facilities and/or buildings, not purchase a new vehicle.

Lendrum said he was concerned about the section of roof in the Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center at Norwalk High School that started leaking during the musical performances. Ross said the roofers who repaired the flat roof over the stage said it should be replaced in two to three years. The repair cost was about $5,000.

“We already have that on our maintenance radar,” said Ross, who didn’t list the roof as one of the projects. “I’m going to get a quote. … It did get repaired.”

Roof repairs for the district office are estimated to cost $10,000.

Ross said the front sidewalk at Maplehurst Elementary is “going to be a safety hazard.” She estimated it would cost $10,000. Board member Ralph Ritzenthaler recommended the sidewalk be patched where possible instead of being replaced.

At League Elementary, roof repairs could cost $15,000 while sidewalk repairs are estimated to cost $5,000. Ross listed the cost to replace the floor in the 100 wing of Pleasant Elementary at $18,000.

The preliminary cost of as-needed boiler repairs at Main Street Intermediate School is $25,000.

“We are trying to keep those going,” Ross told the board.

At Norwalk Middle School, the early estimate to replace the outdoor light fixtures is $4,500 and replacing the stage curtain might be $15,000. Ross said the lights can’t be repaired and “it’s hard to find parts for the current fixtures.”

“The stage curtain is actually dry-rotting,” she added

The director of support services suggested the district replace it with a screen since the stage doesn’t get used any more for theatrical performances. The stage is in the NMS gymnasium.

“We still need a barrier for when more than one thing is happening (there),” Ross said.

Projects at Norwalk High School are estimated to cost $124,500 — the largest amount at any building or site on the preliminary list. Those projects are: As-needed concrete repairs ($5,000), heating/air conditioning (HVAC) control upgrades ($25,000), concrete repairs to curbed areas ($4,500), flooring/tile repairs or replacement ($15,000), new security doors for a reception/holding area ($45,000) and carpet replacement in the academic wings ($30,000).

Ross said the HVAC control upgrades are part of an ongoing project being done in phases and the security doors would be for a “reception area” for NHS visitors before they could have access to the rest of the building. Also, she said the carpet in the academic wings is original from when the school opened in 2001.

Two projects at the bus garage were on the preliminary list: Asphalt repair ($18,000) and roof repairs ($13,000). 

“The bus garage parking lot is not in good shape,” Ross told the board.

Lendrum suggested the school board approve a certain amount of money for the projects to be completed, which reflects what the district has done in years past. He also wanted to leave some money in the P.I. budget so if there is an emergency, there would be money to pay for it.

During the March meeting, board members unanimously approved replacing the visitor bleachers at Whitney Field.

The new bleachers will cost $118,720 and will be paid through the permanent improvement fund. The project by Dant Clayton has been bid through the district membership with the Sourcewell Purchasing Cooperative.

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