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Selectmen Appoint BHS Renovation Review Committee

Board of Selectmen create committee to review high school renovation project and set town meeting for final appropriation.

The Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted unanimously Tuesday night to establish and appoint members to a new ad-hoc committee that will review the (BHS) renovation project, which is near closing after being in process for almost a decade. The five-member BHS Renovation Review Committee (RRC) was charged with looking into the positives and pitfalls of the project, holding at least one town meeting for public input and submitting a final report to the BOS at their July meeting.

The BOS voted unanimously to appoint Municipal Building Committee (MBC) Chairman Paul Checco (who also ), former Board of Education (BOE) , Board of Finance (BOF) and former BOE member Ron Jaffe, Selectman George Walker and one member of the public, Kerry Swift.

“Being on this committee, I can make sure we drill down and take a good hard look at this, going to back from the inception,” said Walker, who was on the BOF when the project was approved. “This community, obviously, some day in the future is going to do some type of project like this again,” he added, “I think we can come out of this with some ideas of what to do, what not to do.”

The pending project closing comes on the heels of , Morganti Construction, and two subcontractors, Ferguson Mechanical and Guerrera Construction.

The BOS was able to reach a settlement and avoid a lawsuit, however the final costs exceeded the appropriation by $485,000. First Selectman Bill Davidson with the (WPCA), with the approval of the BOF, to cover half of the sewer system cost through a benefit assessment, which must be repaid by the next fiscal year.

The BOS made a motion recommending that the BOF repay the assessment with a one-time appropriation from the general fund and scheduled a town meeting for January 31 at 7 p.m. in , pending BOF approval.

If the appropriation fails to pass at the town meeting, the administration will include the funding in the 2012-13 budget request.

BobCat January 04, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Question - I remember a while back reading that the renovation did not include repair of the roof at BHS. I believe it was also stated somewhere that the repair would cost upwards of $1 million. Are these facts correct and, if so, what are the plans to repair the roof and how will it be paid for? Thanks.
Rob Gianazza January 04, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Thanks for asking Gary. The BHS roof renovation has been totally altered from the original proposal. In order to perform a roof replacement, the town would have needed to alter the design of the entire roof to conform to current state standards. A big portion of that is to alter the pitch of the roof. Altering the pitch of the roof would have been excessively expensive for the town and not provided a better "roof per dollar". The decision was to take on the roof restoration project is several phases based on the condition and age of the existing roof. The result was that the town was able to spread the cost out over several years and address the neediest sections of the roof right away. In fact, some sections of the roof at Huckleberry Hill Elementary School were deemed more critical to address in the current budget than some sections of the high school roof. If you have specific concerns or questions pertaining to the roof restoration, please contact Mr. Art Colley at the Town School office for more information.
BuckWheat January 04, 2012 at 08:24 PM
If I came in over budget in my job by $485k, I would not have a job. Must be nice to have a job with no accountability.
Steven DeVaux January 05, 2012 at 12:23 AM
That's a drop in the bucket compared to the $$$ for the Four Corners Brownfield Contamination cleanup. And spending $75,000 to say lamposts and flower boxes isn't going to do anything to abate.

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