Superintendent: Minimal class disruptions for Greenport school construction

08/25/2011 1:14 AM |

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Replacing window lintels to prevent water from leaking into classrooms is only part of the Greenport School’s $8 million-plus face-lift. School officials hope the project will be completed early next year.

With classes beginning in about two weeks, Greenport school officials are preparing for “some disruptions” associated with the school’s $8 million construction project.

But those should be “as little as possible,” Superintendent Michael Comanda said at the Aug. 17 school board meeting.

Contractors have promised that new boilers will be working by mid-September, he said. Ongoing work on the building’s roof, windows and auditorium will take place largely after school hours and on weekends, Mr. Comanda said.

The new boilers have arrived and, as of last week, contractors were awaiting base pieces needed to install them, he said. Roofing material has also arrived and was being loaded onto the roof last week, he said, adding that the deliveries have caused some blockage of traffic on Front Street.

He asked that residents be patient and seek alternative routes where possible to minimize disruption.

“All of us are holding our breath as we begin to rip up the roof over the auditorium,” Mr. Comanda said. Damage to the ceiling in the auditorium indicates the presence of leaks, but the superintendent is hoping the damage is minimal and that plans for reroofing that section will be sufficient.

Holding up a badly rusted window lintel — a building component that sits above the frame — Mr. Comanda alluded to those who last year argued the windows didn’t need to be replaced. Bricking is being temporarily removed, section by section, to allow new lintels to be installed, he said. Contractors have discovered more damage to window lintels than originally expected. But money was built into the bond to cover that contingency, he said.

Work is “a little behind schedule” because of the additional lintel work, Mr. Comanda said. “I’ve learned about something called ‘substantially completed,’ ” he joked.

While money for contingencies was written into the contracts, the superintendent said he wants to assure taxpayers he’s monitoring the project closely to be sure funds are “spent right.”

He promised to provide a construction update at every monthly board meeting moving forward.

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