A timeline for a $22,000,390 district-wide facilities project was revealed during a meeting of the Saugerties Central School District’s Board of Education last week, with construction likely to begin in April 2022 and finish in the late summer of 2023.
Voters overwhelmingly approved the project last December. The average age of the district buildings is 69 years. Leaks in the ceilings, walls and floors have wreaked havoc on exterior walls lined with stucco and beneath floors lined with cork. Exterior site work on crumbling pathways and other areas across the district are also a part of the overall scope of the project. But that work is still a year away, and James Bouffard, a senior architectural designer with Tetra Tech Architects and Designers, said during the virtual School Board meeting held on Tuesday, March 9 that they likely wouldn’t even have artistic renderings of the work for at least another month.
Bouffard was joined in the presentation by Michael DeLima, a senior project manager with Albany-based BBL Construction.
“Certainly we’re moving forward with the design and always reflecting back on the goal of the capital project that we’ve talked about before,” said Bouffard. “We’ve been focused before on…the pre-design phases. And now as we move forward, really we’re going to focus here on the design documentation phase. And then ultimately, obviously that’ll move forward to the State Education Department for approval to get the building permits. And then bidding and construction down the road.”
Bouffard explained that the project is in the first of three phases of design, schematic design (SD), with design development (DD) and construction documents (CD) to follow.
“The goal of schematic design…I always like to think of it as a funnel,” said Bouffard. “So you’re working on a big picture and you keep refining and narrowing the process as you go forward. So we’re exploring, we still have questions and we’re working with the owner to go through some of the design solutions for things, looking at the building from a fieldwork perspective. And then at the end of the schematic design we’ll present to the owner a set of higher level, if you will, key plans with the scope on them, as well as sort of a narrative, a description of other things that at this point may not be fully resolved. And then from that, that formulates the basis for Mike (DeLima) and BBL’s estimator to do their first cost estimate.”
DeLima added that each phase of the design period will be heavily documented to ensure the project fulfills its promise within the budget.
“There are various steps in between, but we’ll really have a good definition of design documents and budget,” DeLima said. “So that’s the reason why we checks and balances every step of the way, so there are no surprises when we go out to bid.”
Bouffard added that the project cannot exceed the estimated cost.
“The $22,000,390, that’s the referendum amount,” he said. “That’s the maximum project that we can spend.”
In addition to site work, most buildings in the district also have work on secure vestibules in the plan. The Jr./Sr. high school will have some window and exterior wall reconstruction and in the main gymnasium bleacher and other upgrades are planned. The subfloor and finished floor in the weight room at the high school will be reconstructed, and areas of the auditorium will be refinished as well.
Lawrence M. Cahill Elementary will have some of its roof replaced and will see work done on flooring, windows and HVAC.
Grant D. Morse Elementary will also have HVAC upgrades and will have a small stage installed at one end of the gymnasium.
Mt. Marion Elementary will have HVAC and electrical upgrades.
The Hildebrandt Building, where central administration is located, will undergo some ADA exterior access improvements, as well as some roofing replacement.
“That’s what the team is working with right now,” Bouffard said. “It’s really taking all those scope items and formulating them into the next steps of the document…Behind the scenes right now, there’s a lot of field work that’s in the process of creating a schedule. Getting the team out there and being nosey around the buildings, if you will, and poking our heads above ceilings.”
Bouffard also updated a capital outlay project at Charles M. Riccardi elementary to install pocket doors in the cafeteria to avoid the potential for passersby in the hallway to be hit by the current swinging doors. That project was recently approved by the State Education Department and will go out to bid soon, with a likely completion in June of this year.
As for the larger capital project, the design phase is expected to be completed over the summer and submitted for review by the State Education Department in the fall. Assuming approval, bids would likely go out in January 2022, with the construction phase beginning in April 2022 and running through summer 2023.
“We’re going to look at continuous construction,” said DeLima. “We’re gearing up quickly. We’ll be here before you know it, having a shovel in the ground.”