$92 million high school rebuild impact statement under scrutiny

The Kingston City School District’s Board of Education last week made a decision on the future of a proposed $92 million high school capital project. That decision was that they weren’t ready to make a decision.

According to Board President James Shaughnessy, the decision to delay the vote on whether to begin an environmental review of the proposal was made to allow the district’s attorneys to review the text in the resolution needed to kick it off.

“We wouldn’t want to approve that on the spot without having an opportunity to have our attorneys look at it,” Shaughnessy said. “The sample resolution was handed out by Dennis Larios of the engineering firm Brinnier and Larios, and we just wanted to be able to have our attorneys look it over.”


Dubbed the Second Century Capital Project, the twin goals of the plan are to tackle infrastructure issues of a campus where some buildings are a century old, as well as addressing the district’s desire to reorganize the student population into a “house concept” that would allow smaller groups of teachers to educate a smaller group of students. The board would have to get voter approval to float a bond to borrow the money needed for the project.

The house concept is part of the reason for the most expensive item on the project’s wish list — an overhaul of the Salzmann Building, which was built over 30 years ago. Some $38.42 million would be spent to convert the building into a three-story academic core, requiring the addition of a 14,350-square-foot third floor to the two-story existing structure. Other pieces of the puzzle include the addition of around 87,000 square feet of classrooms; replacement of roof, windows and doors, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; and plumbing and electrical work.

With a $17.21 million price tag, the Myron J. Michael Building would undergo a transformation into a dedicated science center for the high school. Covered under the cost estimate is a 17,250-square-foot science building addition; replacement of roof, windows and doors, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning terminal units and boiler plant, plumbing, sprinkler and electrical systems. Also planned is asbestos and lead paint abatement; façade work, including repointing of brick and repainting of wood; demolition of the gym and locker room; replacement of stairs with ramps; and the installation of an elevator.

Kingston High’s main building would also undergo considerable work, with an estimated cost of $11.81 million covering roof and skylight replacement; energy-efficient window upgrades; replacing the 90-year-old service entrance; power upgrades; replacement of heating equipment and sprinkler heads; bathroom renovation; and asbestos and lead paint abatement.

The Kate Walton Field House would undergo a roof replacement and other architectural work at an estimated cost of around $2.64 million.

The Whiston-Tobin building would be demolished altogether and replaced with an outside garden and instructional space at an estimated cost of $1.38 million. The removal of Whiston-Tobin would also allow for the addition of 25 parking spaces.

Another $1.83 million is earmarked for a variety of projects in the proposal, including recoating of all pavement on campus; adding 37 parking spaces at the Salzmann building; fixing drainage issues; and installing a synthetic athletic field for use during practices, gym classes and other non-Dietz Stadium related activities. The synthetic turf would be around 30,000 square feet with an estimated lifespan of a decade. The cost of the surface has yet to be provided to the district.

The original plan, devised with KSQ Architects, came with an estimated price tag of $88 million. Another $4 million was added after BBL Construction Services became the project’s construction manager.

KSQ principal Armand Quadrini, who has had a hands-on relationship with the district on this and previous projects, declined comment on this story through his office. Jon DeForest, a principal with BBL, could not be reached for comment.

(Kingston High file photo by Dan Barton)

There is one comment

  1. gberke

    Oh my: thank you Kingston Times!! Thanks for getting the information… there is NOTHING from the school board on what they are doing. And it is amazing they are putting into brick and mortar a teaching “concept” of small classroms… gee, isn’t that why they are closing Sophie Finn?? because the class rooms are too small?
    I recall Aesop’s Tale about the Fox who blew on his hands to warm them and on his soup to cool it: beware, said the old Egyptian story teller, of the man whose breath blows both hot and cold.
    You know, when you have to present your ideas so they are clear to others, you often find that they weren’t that clear to you, and you make them better.

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