Garden City, NY – At the Board of Education’s regular meeting held August 13 inside the Garden City High School library, the Board discussed the latest progress in renovations and improvements to school buildings from Gary Gonzalez of Park East Construction and Gary Scheide, a partner with the district’s consulting architecture firm, Patchogue-based BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers, P.C.
Roof replacements at both Stratford School and Homestead School were priorities over the summer, with the Stratford project 50% complete by mid-August, with target dates of last weekend (August 31 to Labor Day). Roof replacement for Homestead was announced completed at the August 13 school board meeting, but odds and ends trimming work on it took place in the last days of August. Some of the roof drain installations completed by the contractor had to be addressed, according to Gary Gonzalez.
For Stewart and Stratford Schools the structural projects close to 100% complete this August include the masonry, reconstruction and reappointing of the buildings’ existing brick, including some replacements where necessary. Work was scheduled to be complete by Labor Day.
Garden City’s Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance Dana DiCapua spoke about a potential change order and additional work with the masonry project at the board’s August meeting. Gary Scheide said at some locations in Stratford School the stone window sills and brickwork below them have deteriorated, and consulting engineers recommended that the district replace those elements. “We did have a change order submitted for that work and we vetted that out with the contractor and negotiated that figure down, and it will be coming before you at a future Board meeting — it is not a big cost but it’s something you should address right away. There is some potential for additional masonry work at Stratford that we’d bring to your attention but at this point BBS is not recommending to do anything further. At some point in the future it would need to be addressed, but it isn’t an imminent need at this time,” he said.
Scheide’s comment piqued the interest of Board President Angela Heineman and she asked how the architects and engineers would investigate the concepts more as the school year approached. Scheide said that may be too much to manage with the contractor at this time, and an evaluation of the entire Stratford School building would be required to determine project scope, noting that “that could be budgeted for appropriately at a future date,” he said. DiCapua confirmed with Scheide that the BBS recommendation for Stratford would be part of the district’s next five-year Building Conditions Survey from his consulting group.
Along with the passage of the school district’s $117.9 million budget for 2019-2020 back on May 21, GCUFSD gained over 85% of votes — community approval — to set up its Capital Reserve II fund, a $15.8 million fund over 10 years, which enables the district to maintain and improve facilities “including but not limited to reconstruction and renovation, roofing, asbestos abatement and insulation, masonry and electrical work, generator, lighting, security enhancements, air conditioning, HVAC, site-work and related work.”
The May 21st vote also allowed the district to allocate the remaining $1.8 million in the Capital Reserve I Fund towards renovation of the Garden City High School library, replacement of GCHS tennis courts, and partial funding for replacing the wood radiator enclosures throughout Garden City Middle School.
Reconstruction of bathrooms at Stratford School was ongoing, with the same timeline of September 1 or 2. Gonzalez says the bathrooms at the GCHS auditorium was a project at 100% completion, and a boiler replacement at the GCHS boiler room was only waiting for an exhaust plume to knock it from the list.
On August 13 DiCapua also asked Patrick Mehr, director of Buildings and Grounds for the school district, to detail the key abatement projects for the summer of 2019. According to DiCapua the district B&G staff is responsible for one to two larger scale projects every summer in addition to the “hundreds of smaller projects” they always manage.
He said at Garden City High School there was a large abatement project for the basement, including half of the crawlspace over the past two summers to complete the work.
A contractor was to come in on August 15 to finish reinstallation of the hot and cold water pipes in GCHS’ basement, which is an extensive pipe network.
“The other abatement project we did was the big asbestos abatement work in the basement of the Administration Building, where we took down walls and ceilings in our file room and storage room. That was completed (by August 10) and we had our contractor in there reconstructing the walls downstairs — we will be installing new LED lighting in those areas once they are done, and we will also paint the walls and finish the flooring,” Mehr announced.
Mehr noted that some scaffoldings from the 1930’s were discovered in the basement of the Admin. Building, along with other tools and materials such as wooden ladders original to the building and now over 75 years old.
September 06, 2019
BY RIKKI N. MASSAND