Published in the September 8, 2016 edition
By BOB TUROSZ
NORTH READING – There will be obvious disruption of traffic to the high and middle schools in the coming days as repairs will be necessary to the school complex’s drainage system from the top of the hill all the way down to Route 62, it was stated at the Secondary Schools Building Committee last week.
Joanna Kripp from Gilbane Construction stated that while the contract work is “substantially complete,” with work on the new handicap ramp completed, it has been confirmed that the drainage system did not pass the required test. Kripp said the company is proposing a repair to the system with the school’s architect, Dore & Whittier that they will review for a corrective action plan.
Kripp said the system needs to be repaired in 15-20 locations and the drainage lines run from manhole to manhole in the roadway. These are the lines that take the rainwater out of the site into the street from there into an underground reservoir.
She said the company is attempting to expedite the corrective action plan by the end of the week. The Gilbane, Dore & Whittier and PMA, the project manager will need to sit down and review the comprehensive action plan. She said they will have to work in close cooperation with the Superintendent of Schools to minimize disruption to the school.
SSBC Chairman Chuck Carucci said the drainage system was installed by a subcontractor. The repairs will be “disruptive,” he said.
“This will be a big undertaking for the drainage and the Superintendent will try to coordinate a few things. It’s going to be a big project,” he said.
A meeting was held to discuss the landscaping and seeding of the grounds where grass hasn’t grown this summer, which has been one of historic drought. “We need to address the fact the grass hasn’t grown, we need to address some soil issues and we need to address some of the plantings that need to be replaced.” She said a list has been put together of some of the plantings that need to be replaced. The list has been submitted to the landscape architect, she said.
The plan is for the plants to be replaced on or about Sept. 19.
There are 23 “open items” remaining on the project punch list related to the site work and they are pressing to get all that done, Kripp said.
A crane was brought in on Thursday to replace coils on two damaged air handling units (for heating and cooling) on top of the high school roof. The coils were damaged last winter and have been inoperative. That replacement took place as planned.
Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Wayne Hardacker asked when the boiler system will be recommissioned and the answer was in late September. Kripp said they’re waiting for the as-built plans from Automated Logic Controls, the firm that supplied the temperature control system. Hardacker requested that all parties be on site for the recommissioning.
“It’s been a challenging summer. The boilers continue to malfunction. It’s only been three years,” said Hardacker.
“The powers that be will be coming in and we’ll have it solved by the end of September,” said Carucci.
Architect contract price fixed
The committee voted to fix the final cost of Dore & Whittier’s contract at $10,830,398 after voting to approve a final payment of $36,007 to close out the firm’s contract as of Oct. 1. This fixes the town’s final cost to Dore and Whittier after allowances for credits back from the company. SSBC member Jerry Venezia voted in opposition.
Naming rights for Dr. Troughton
The SSBC and the School Committee are considering naming a portion of the new high school after former Superintendent of Schools David S. Troughton. The naming of any part of the school will require the approval of the School Committee and Town Meeting.
Carucci has salvaged the veterans plaque that was a fixture for decades on the ornamental rock at the flagpole to the entrance to the old high school. That plaque will be installed at the new high school.
Industry accolade for project
Kripp reported that ENR New England, (which stands for Engineering News Record), has selected the high school-middle school project for a K-12 Award of Merit, first place, for the ability to overcome site challenges, community safety, construction and design quality.
Good fences make good neighbors
Town Administrator Michael Gilleberto worked with town counsel to craft an agreement with abutters to the project, Douglas and Mary Carey of School Hill Lane. The Careys are seeking to donate a fence to serve as a buffer between their property and the rear area of the school project where the tennis courts are located.
Because the area is wooded, the Careys requested permission to put the fence within the property line by a few feet on school department property to avoid a stand of old growth trees and the School Committee has agreed to accept the gift and signed the memorandum of agreement.
The agreement now goes to the Board of Selectmen for their approval on Sept. 12.