$1 million allocated to Amvet roof repairs

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Amvet School
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By Michael Oliveira

michael@northstarreporter.com

The Town Council has approved a $1 million transfer from the high school athletic complex project budget to repair the roof at the Amvet School.

According to Town Manager Michael Borg, the project had previously been estimated to cost $2.4 million. However, when sent out to bid by Gail Associates, it was learned it would instead cost approximately $3.4 million.

Director of Facilities Tim Chouinard attended the council’s March 25 meeting to give more explanation as to why more money is needed.

“We went out to bid and six bids came in ranging from $2.962 million to about$ 3.4 million,” said Chouinard.

He noted how a few other schools such as Sandwich High School and Mass Biological Conservatory had similar issues of projects going over their estimated budgets.

“I had a lot of conversations with Gail Associates and Titan Roofing, who is the low bidder of the project, and it’s purely a result of the market that we’re in right now,” Chouinard said. “This has caused us to re-access how we are going through the estimating process on this and we are talking internally about the potential of having a secondary estimator on projects over a certain dollar amount to make sure we don’t have this come up again in the future”

Town Council President Justin Pare said there have been issues lately of projects going “significantly” over budget, which has resulted in the town having to come up with ways to try and shuffle money around to complete them. With a six-month timeframe between the estimate and the bid, he added that there were some things that were not noticed.

“The project is complicated,” he said. “Since the original construction there were 120 skylights that have all been infilled – there’s a long history with this building, there’s a lot happening. The roof is being torn down to the structure and they are rebuilding it and reinsulating it from there.”

The entire roof structure is being raised by eight inches, which involves masonry, plumbing and HVAC work, and this was known at the time of the estimate, but wasn’t calculated to be as labor-intensive by Gail Associates.

According to Titan Roofing, it’s going to be a very substantial effort for laborers, which is why all the estimates came in higher than expected.

The Town Council is requesting somebody from Gail Associates be at the next Finance Subcommittee meeting to explain what happened so that this doesn’t happen again.

“I’d like to hear from them, how this happened and how we can stop this from happening in the future,” said Council Vice-President John Simmons.