District To Pick Construction Firm

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The Sewanhaka Central High School District interviewed three construction firms on Sept. 2 for the upcoming renovations to its five high schools. The district will announce its selection on Sept. 23. The firms and bids are unknown as of press time.

The district passed a $86.6 million bond referendum in May by nearly 2,479 votes. District officials plan to hold a bond groundbreaking ceremony on Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Alva T. Stanforth Athletic fields in Elmont, signaling the start of work. The site will be closed for 18 months.

“We’ll be selecting one of those firms to serve as the district construction management firm for the upcoming bond work,” District Superintendent Ralph Ferrie said.

The district received bids from numerous companies after the bond passage, according to School Board President Dave Fowler. Sewanhaka received additional bids over the summer and school board reps chose three firms, which were scheduled to present to the full board of education on Sept. 2.

“The construction managers, we’ve had those bids a while,” Fowler said. “The hope is to make a determination as to who we’re going to contract with to oversee all phases of the construction project.”

District reps are also currently analyzing three separate proposals for energy performance analysis tied to the renovations. The plan would let companies evaluate building lighting, windows, roofs, heating, ventilating and air condition systems, etc. for renovation. Any savings would decrease the construction costs by an estimated $10 million and increase building aid from New York State, officials said.

Ferrie said he’d elaborate more at the Sept. 23 board meeting.

Fowler said a main concern is how the energy analysis will work in conjunction with the bond. He indicated that aspect has been discussed with the potential construction managers.

“It’s a little more complicated,” Fowler said. “We had solicited energy performance bids previously. The initial bids, we weren’t pleased with. We now went out with a proposal again. The district received potential bids and those are being reviewed by central administration and construction attorneys.”

Officials said New York State Education Department approvals, particularly for roof work at each high school, are taking a bit longer and they want to “get it rolling so by next spring, we’ll be starting the roofs and turf fields at each facility.”

“The energy part is slightly behind,”  Fowler said. “We certainly hope to have that in place [soon]. I’m more interested personally in finding out how firm some of the pricing is, how they intend to staff the projects.”

Technology infrastructure and security upgrades will take place at all five schools. New roofs will be installed at each building.

Floral Park Memorial High School will gain $18.4 million in upgrades and renovations. The school would gain an expanded auditorium and music rooms, new heating and ventilation systems and masonry restorations.

Gym Damaged By Storm

After the torrential storm on Aug. 13, the Sewanhaka High School gym suffered flood damage, school officials revealed. A majority of the repair work will be covered by district insurance, according to Ferrie.

Gym work began last week. Sewanhaka Indians volleyball is practicing at the Stewart Manor Elementary School while the high school floor is being repaired.

“It’s a shame with the roof at Sewanhaka,” Fowler said. “It wound up having damage to the gym floor now. But they relocated the volleyball team. Still though, we’re about to open up school and we have to relocate a team already?”

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