Published in the November 23, 2016 edition


NORTH READING — The original end date for the high school/middle school construction project was Dec. 15, 2015 but construction projects of this magnitude often take longer than planned. And so the Secondary Schools Building Committee finds itself still involved in project oversight meetings close to a year past the original final completion date.

As the Transcript reported last week, repair work on the school’s drainage system was scheduled to begin last Saturday, Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to dusk and will continue on Friday, Nov. 25 and Saturday, Nov. 26 during the same hours. The work will take place in the surrounding roadway for the necessary repairs to the underground drainage piping.

“We are working closely with Supt. of Schools Jon Bernard and we have a schedule,” said Joanna Kripp, Gilbane Co. construction manager. “We’re trying to maintain that as close as possible. The schedule brings us through the end of November and helps minimize the impact on school activities.” She plans meetings with Manafort Construction to minimize the impact.

Remediation work continues at other locations around the campus, including the replacement of plantings that didn’t survive the summer. Kripp said most of the replacement plants are in except for some that will be replanted in the spring because stocks were not available.

Some items remain on the project “punch list” and Kripp said they’re working with the architects, Dore and Whittier, on the punch list of outstanding items and she will be pushing the subcontractors to complete the list. The goal is to have this done by the end of the year, potentially taking advantage of the winter school break. By the week after Thanksgiving she hopes to have a schedule of subcontractors lined up to complete the open items on the punch list and this will be coordinated with the punch list, also.

Regarding the plantings, Kripp estimated 70 percent of what needs to be replanted has been done and the rest will be accomplished in the spring. She said Manafort has been requested to address all the drainage issues including two in the guard rail area. In response to a question from Sean Delaney, she said she will reiterate the committee’s “strong concern” that this work be included.

Kripp said they met last week to go over disputed items on the punch list. The goal is to have a monetized punch list for ready for the next week to go back to the subcontractors and get everything resolved by the end of the year. More than half of the items are related to O&M manuals and the rest are physical work, she said.

The town has received $41.2 million in reimbursement from the Mass. School Building Authority to date. The town’s total finalized reimbursement from the state is expected to be between $47 and $49 million.

The next SSBC meeting will be Nov. 29 in the High School’s Distance Learning Lab.