Students, staff, parents and residents of the Putnam Valley Central School District may soon see fencing going up around the middle and high schools, as the Board of Education on March 5 unanimously approved the awarding of bids to several contractors to begin the work.
“The good news is we got base bids on budget, and we got a great turnout during the bidding process,” Walter Hauser of KG&D Architects in Mount Kisco told the school board.
As part of the project, upgrades are planned at the middle school cafeteria/auditorium, including an expanded kitchen and additional multipurpose space to host larger functions and meetings. In addition, a modern learning commons is planned at the school, as well as a modernized entrance, more flexible classroom space, and upgrades to bathrooms.
At the elementary school, HVAC and seating upgrades are planned in the auditorium, and two active learning spaces will be created.
Also, a new health and wellness center at the high school/middle school campus to accommodate physical education and health classes, sports teams, and outside groups is being designed.
According to Hauser, 25 different contractors submitted a total of 84 bids on different aspects of the capital project, with KG&D recommending the awarding of 14 contracts. “So we have a great result on the project and we’re really excited to move forward,” he said.
District voters approved $12 million in bonding for the project, and the base bids came in at about $11.99 million.
Hauser noted that there are a few alternate plans at the middle school that KG&D recommends putting on hold until a later date. These include creating classroom core spaces, a nurses suite and new guidance offices.
“We’ve talked to all the low bidders – they’re willing to maintain their prices for an extended period of time, and that may give us the option to award those at a later date,” said Hauser. “But right now we want to maintain a healthy contingency, at least through the most critical part of the project, which is the demolition of the middle school where we take the building apart, get it out of the ground, and until we’re out of the ground with the wellness center. Those are supercritical phases.”
He said once the contracts are formalized, mobilization at the middle school and high school can begin.
“These are all contractors we’ve worked with before,” concluded Hauser. “We’re comfortable that they understand the project, that they’re all qualified, and in fact some of these contractors have been involved in capital projects on your campus, including some of the contractors for the wellness center were involved with the construction of the high school. We’re pleased that there’s some familiarity and they are excited to return to work for Putnam Valley.”
Kevin Sawyer from Triton Construction noted that the anticipated completion date for the middle school is Sept. 1
“This is a really exciting night… because now we’ve finished all this talking about doing this project and we’re going to start doing this project,” he said. “It is an aggressive schedule but we know that we can make it.”
Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Luft stated in a letter to the community that a construction staging area will be erected in the middle school parking lot adjacent to the courtyard in the coming weeks.
“This will affect the number of available parking spaces and will impact our dismissal process,” he said. “Your flexibility, partnership, and patience will be critical to minimizing the disruptions and will best support our students.”
For details, visit the district’s website and social media pages.