Bob Moore, NH+ INDEPENDENT:
The New Hartford Board of Education, acting through its School Building Committee, is seeking an architecture/engineering firm to provide a facilities condition assessment for the Ann Antolini School. The Building Committee was convened to evaluate the need to replace the roof, windows and doors at the school. However, once convened, the Committee decided to undertake a thorough evaluation of the complete building rather than limiting themselves to the original scope which would not have taken into account work that might be required as a result of the replacement of the doors and windows.
School Building Committee members Denton Butler and Roy Litchfield conducted a pre-bid walkthrough at the Antolini School to familiarize potential bidders with the building. The walkthrough was held this past Wednesday, December 5, and it attracted representatives from seven firms.
The successful bidder will provide an extensive report on the condition of the building and its grounds, taking into account accessibility requirements dictated by the Americans with Disabilities Act, building code and life safety issues and the condition of the existing roof as well as the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems that currently serve the building.
An assessment will be made of the work needed to upgrade the building and grounds to meet current needs. The scope of work outlined in the Request for Proposal does not attempt to predict future needs of the building and grounds, but rather focuses on its current use serving 340 elementary students and a mix of general classrooms, offices, etc. Construction of the building was completed in 1968 with major work last occurring in 1991.
The Building Committee will use this report to prioritize work on the building in the next few years. They are looking for the successful bidder to identify deficiencies that need to be corrected, along with a preliminary budget covering the cost of making the corrections. Problems will be ranked in importance from the most critical and in need of immediate action to those that may not technically meet current building code requirements but are “grandfathered” and might not need to be addressed unless major building renovations are undertaken.
The report must be delivered to the Board of Ed. in 75 days after the contract is awarded. It must include a financial analysis for the required work and an evaluation of available grant options. A range of options will be outlined, from simple alterations and energy upgrades to a complete Renovate-As New project. This last option would result in the renovated facility taking on a useful life comparable to that of a new facility. The 2012/2013 State budget reduced reimbursement rates for new school construction, but left intact the reimbursement rate for school renovation projects. Currently this is around 50% for New Hartford. The work in question will most likely be done under the 2014/2015 State budget.
Bids for the assessment are due on Wednesday, December 12, when a public bid opening will be held in the Superintendent’s Office at Town Hall.