Albion school district accepts nearly $10 million in capital improvement bids

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 February 2017 at 9:01 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: The District Office will be upgraded instead of being relocated to the middle school.

ALBION – The Board of Education accepted nearly $10 million in bids from contractors on Monday, with projects touching all three school buildings, the bus garage and athletic facilities.

The projects are part of a $14,370,548 capital project that is 91 percent covered by state funds. District residents approved the capital project on May 19, 2015 by a vote of 313-55.

Contractors last summer worked on roofs that were part of the first phase of the capital project. This year the majority of the overall project will take place.

The Board of Education on Monday approved $8,080,100 in base bids, with alternates pushing the total closer to $9.75 million.

The approved base bids include: DiFiore Construction of Rochester, $1,314,200 for site work; Willett Builders of Amherst, $272,500 for plumbing; Holdsworth Klimowski Construction of Victor, $3,713,000 for general construction; Marc Cerrone Inc. of Niagara Falls, $847,000 for environmental; Bell Mechanical Contractors in East Rochester, $514,400 for HVAC/mechanical; and Suburban Electric of Albion, $1,419,000 for electric.

Albion had some wiggle room for alternates, but not enough to tackle a full list of desired projects. The Board of Education on Monday debated which projects would go forward and which would be scrapped, for now.

The Board of Education opted against a snow melt system for the sidewalk under the front canopy of the elementary school.

The board decided to spend about $300,000 for a new dehumidifier for the swimming pool at the middle school. The dehumidifier should last 15-20 years and improve the air quality and comfort level in the room.

The Board weighed the dehumidifier versus spending $281,000 for a snow melt system under the canopy by the front entrance of the elementary school.

Contractors would have to rip out the sidewalks to install the system, and then put down new concrete, said Kirk Narburgh, managing partner and CEO of King + King Architects in Syracuse. (Narburgh also is an Albion graduate.)

The snow melt system would reduce some rock salt expense and could possibly prevent a workers’ compensation claim, said Shawn Liddle, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

“It would be something that would be nice to have,” he said.

But some board members see the pool as a more pressing priority.

“It seems like when it comes to the pool we just do whatever we can to get by,” said Marlene Seielstad, a board member.

She said the district has “scrimped by” with the pool while “putting hundreds of thousands and millions into other athletic facilities.”

The district also has the option to fix the existing pool dehumidifier for about $55,000, and possibly get another five years out of it. The new system will be larger than the current one, and have more controls for when the pool is being used and when it’s unoccupied. The board decided to go with the big dehumidifier for $300,000.

Margy Brown, the board president, said the pool is used year-round by community members, and many students take swim classes for gym, in addition to the school’s swim teams using the site.

The board also decided against relocating the district office to the middle school, which would have required a million-dollar renovation. The district office will stay at the back of the elementary school, and will get new windows and HVAC upgrades.

The board decided to hold off on replacing the lockers in the high school.

When the district presented the capital project to the community about two years ago, new lockers in the high school were listed among the improvements. There are currently 1,200 lockers that are 9 inches wide.

The district considered replacing them with fewer lockers that would be a foot wide. That would cost $187,000.

District officials said few students use the narrow lockers. But a poll of students showed the new lockers probably wouldn’t get much use, either.

High schoolers are on a block schedule with four classes a day. Most students carry their books in backpacks throughout the day. The board decided against an overhaul of the lockers.

The work approved on Monday as part of phase two of the capital project includes:

District-wide: fire alarm updates and exterior door exit lighting with a generator.

Elementary School: (1956 section) new branch piping with heat, (1956 section) asbestos removal in the crawl space, (1956 section) asbestos removal in ceilings, (1956 section) teaching walls update, relocation of flag pole, main entrance surfacing and radiant heat, pencil post covers, solar shading system on the new wing (south), and additional site lighting (north).

Middle School: upper loading zone sidewalk, site lighting, new windows with the addition done in 2000, chimney work, and HVAC replacement for the pool.

High School: Library renovation and central boiler replacement.

Bus Garage: site lighting, oil separator replacement and floor drains wash bay.

Grounds: football drainage, track surfacing, baseball drainage, dugout foundations, stadium lighting refresh, stadium emergency lights, and underground storage tank removal.

The phase two improvements are scheduled for this year with the bulk of the work over the summer. The district still has about $1 million remaining in the capital project for milling and paving. That is planned for 2018. The district didn’t want to do that while heavy equipment from construction companies was on campus this year.

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