Dubbed “button up packages” by an architect involved in the project since the beginning, the Kingston school board earlier this month approved spending $840,925 to put the finishing touches on the Kingston High School Second Century Project. Even with the additional work, the expansion and renovation project at the high school’s Broadway campus is still expected to come in at roughly $16.5 million under the $137.5 million budget.
Individual costs for the final projects include $48,195 to reseed the south lawn, $394,054 for main lobby upgrades, $55,296 for solid surface window sills in the campus bridges, $121,392 for finishes at building exit stairs, and $110,232 for acoustical wall panels in music wing instructional spaces. A further $18,274 is earmarked to paint ceramic tile wainscoting in the music wing, $5,034 to reverse the direction the doors open in the principal’s suite, and $38,448 to create the Whiston Tobin Memorial Garden. $50,000 will also be set aside as a scope-of-work allowance in case of overages.
These projects, “would really improve the overall look and feel at KHS,” said Armand Quadrini, managing principal of KSQ Design, during a virtual meeting of the board of education held on Wednesday, April 7.
“I think it’s also important to point out to the board members that the cost of this is all within our original vote and the approval of our voters,” said Superintendent Paul Padalino.
The Second Century referendum passed in December 2013 by a narrow margin of 2,265-2,082. Work performed during the project included the razing of the Myron J. Michael and Tobin-Whiston buildings, the addition of two new wings, extensive renovations of the original high school building, and upgrades to Kate Walton Field House.
The work just approved for the music wing is necessary partly because tiles originally installed over four decades ago are no longer in use and cannot be replaced. Quadrini said painting filler for damaged and missing tiles will be a much more cost-effective way of creating consistency when the alternative would be to rip out the remaining tiles and replace everything entirely.
“When it’s all painted it will look like one composition,” Quadrini said. “The alternative is to tear all this out. And we think it’s not worth the investment to put some kind of ceramic tile back.”
The addition of acoustical wall panels in music rooms was deemed necessary when what was already there was compared to other panels put in different rooms during an earlier stage of the project.
“In the two rooms downstairs where we installed them, they’re wonderful,” Quadrini said, adding that the new panels will replace ceiling tiles that were installed years ago as an inexpensive solution. Quadrini said that not seeking to replace the mock acoustical tiles was a mistake. “We were quite frankly trying to value engineer and we thought we could sort of live with the wall panels that are already in the rest of the music rooms. We were going to paint them.”
The main lobby renovations include additional tile work, which may either feature “KHS” or a tiger — the school’s mascot — on the floor, which saw its terrazzo tiling restored during an earlier renovation phase.
Board President James Shaughnessy said the final work approved by trustees will help pull the entire project together.
“It would really be noticeable,” he said. “It would really stick out like a sore thumb if these things weren’t done.”
Quadrini said he expected the additional work to be completed by the start of the 2021-22 school year.
Trustees expressed full support for the additional work.
“We’re still below what we bonded for and it just enhances the whole project,” said Nora Scherer. “I think it’s a no-brainer: We have the crews on-site and I can’t wait to see it all finished.”
Robin Jacobowitz said the work that’s already been completed is a welcome sight from Broadway.
“It’s very exciting to see this,” she said. “It’s just really exciting to see the whole project when I drive by it, it just makes my heart sing.”
The next virtual meeting of the school board is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21.