Published in the September 7, 2017 edition


NORTH READING — Two years after North Reading Middle School 2.0 opened its doors, remaining work on the secondary schools is on schedule to be completed later this fall.

During last week’s School Committee meeting, Superintendent of Schools Jon Bernard said the secondary schools’ access road was recently repaved after the drainage system was repaired.

“There was a request to infrared the seams to strengthen them,” he explained. “That work was completed on August 11.”

Bernard said the grass area adjacent to the media center will be hydroseeded in September.

The superintendent, along with School Committee Chairman Mel Webster, Secondary Schools Building Committee (SSBC) Chairman Chuck Carucci, Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto and representatives from the owner’s project manager PMA, architect Dore and Whittier and general contractor Gilbane reviewed the remaining punch list items during a recent meeting.

“It was a very productive meeting that lasted about two hours,” said Bernard. “We reviewed the 26 remaining items on the punch list. The most significant number was attributed to warranty paperwork items Dore and Whittier is seeking to provide to us. There is a commitment by Gilbane to have everything wrapped up by September 15.”

In an interview with the Transcript, Bernard said the one item that will be completed after September 15 is delivering extra fabric rolls for chairs in the performing arts center. He said the fabric has been ordered and will be delivered in October.

“There is no work to do, but if the chairs’ fabric ever gets worn or damaged, we would able to replace it,” said Bernard. “It’s year four in the building, and we haven’t had any issues.”

During last week’s meeting, Bernard said, “there are about five items that require physical labor other than just paperwork.”

“I am encouraged with the progress that has been made,” Bernard said, adding, “Having PMA, Dore and Whittier and Gilbane in the same room as us was certainly a prudent thing. As we look to the next SSBC meeting on September 19, I feel right now a level of assurance that we will be able to move forward at that meeting and identify anything that is outstanding.”

Webster agreed.

“The commitment was to have everything done by September 15 except for that one item,” said Webster.

Webster said the largest remaining item that needs to be addressed is fixing a couple of drains outside of the superintendent’s office that “aren’t draining correctly.” He also said the DPW needs to review two manhole covers.

Landscaping to be addressed

Bernard said there are also some landscaping issues that need to be addressed. “There are roughly 30 landscaping items between trees and grasses,” he said.

According to Bernard, contractors have completed work on the tennis courts. He asked boys’ tennis coach Mark Bisognano to evaluate the work.

“(Bisognano) seemed pleased with it,” said Bernard.

Parking lot repairs due

Webster said school officials are looking to have the high school’s parking lot repaired.

“That was discussed briefly,” said Webster. “It’s not on the punch list. But many of us have been out there and there is definitely some work that needs to be done before the winter because the cracks that we have are going to expand significantly.”

Bernard concurred. “Something has to be done,” he said.

“It was a very productive meeting. We are getting close to seeing a day where we don’t have anybody from Gilbane, PMA or Dore and Whittier spending too much time on our campus,” added Webster.

Webster noted PMA is the owner’s project manager for the new Saugus Middle School and High School project, which is going to cost $153 million. North Reading’s secondary schools project cost $123 million.

“We are fortunate we got in when we did because the cost has gone up significantly over the six years,” said Webster.