Questions remain on how the town will be able to account for $4.38 million in cost overruns, but with the possibility still existing that the town could make up the difference, members of the Middle School Building Committee are set to move forward with an aggressive timeline to get the project before the state.
The committee on Tuesday met with representatives of Fletcher Thompson to discuss a timeline moving forward, one which will allow the architects to begin creating the final paperwork and have it ready for approval for the committee, Board of Education and Southington Town Council by Jan. 14, 2013.
“There is still hope that we will be able to get this project done and done without affecting the (education specifications), but we need to work quickly and efficiently,” Committee Chairman Edward Pocock Jr. said.
If all goes according to plan, the final designs for renovations at DePaolo Middle School and Kennedy Middle School will go out to bid on April 2, said Fletcher Thompson associate principal Angela Cahill.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.
But the committee on Tuesday was only able to free a couple hundred thousand in cash and money remains a big hill to get over before the project can move forward.
In the past two weeks, Fletcher Thompson associates and environmentalist Jim Twichell of Hygenix, Inc., revealed that PCB remediation and cost overruns of 8.9- and 10.2-percent have pushed the project $4 million over budget, even with the $11 million saved through “value engineering.”
Pocock said any hope for the project lies in receiving approval from the EPA on a plan to remediate the schools without having to remove the vapor walls, which contain considerable PCB levels but are currently sealed off from any potential exposure.
If this measure is not approved, Southington Town Attorney Mark Sciota said Tuesday that there is no way the town would be able to proceed as planned.
“It would be too much and the matter would have to be forwarded to the town council,” Sciota said.
The problem with determining whether to move forward without money in place is that the final figures may change slightly and for the better once the town is able to go out to bid on the project. Committee members and representatives with Newfield Construction, the company hired to act as project manager, said it’s not uncommon for bids to come in lower than the project cost.
Due to state regulations for reimbursement, however, the town also needs state approval before they can go out to bid.
“It’s a challenge, but we are moving forward,” Pocock said.
Make sure to like Southington Patch on Facebook or follow on Twitter for breaking news, daily updates and more!