North Adams Transcript
CHESHIRE -- The Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Building Committee met Thursday night to approve contingency expenditures and update the progress of what Superintendent Alfred Skrocki called "a model building project."
Both Skrocki and Dave DeForest, project manager of Gilbane Building Co., the company in charge of construction, said the Hoosac Valley renovation project remains on schedule.
"I’ve never seen this kind of cooperation and willingness to make adjustments in construction projects by all the trade people involved," Skrocki said. "It’s ensured that work would always continue without stopping -- there’s always a plan B. Everyone is always working."
According to DeForest, sections A, B and C -- which comprise the south half of the building and most of the classrooms -- are "coming well along" and approaching a finished state, with work on the corridors scheduled to continue next week.
The majority of remaining work is set to occur in the north half of the building, which includes the gym, cafeteria and courtyard, and is "seeing a lot of activity," DeForest said.
DeForest added that the metal siding needed to complete work on the front entrance canopy arrives next week; the lobby skylight is finished; workers are currently painting the cafeteria; sheetrock installation and framing in the library is scheduled for next week; and five truckloads of wood finish
Skrocki encouraged any interested party to contact the district to organize a tour of the site. Tours have been held weekly of late, and Skrocki said he’s visited the site daily in recent months.
Contingency costs approved Thursday included snow removal -- though DeForest added workers had been "blessed with a great winter" -- ceiling tiles for the arts studio, caulking, door frames and beam replacement.
The only recent stumbling block for the project has been finalizing the power purchase agreement, according to Skrocki.
The district issued proposals for an 800,000 kilowatt solar array on the lawn across from the main office in October, and plans to award the project to J.M. Electric, the lowest bidder. However, tax law issues have resulted because both Adams and Cheshire are involved, and school district land is classified as not for profit. District treasurer David Hinkell is currently working toward a resolution, Skrocki says.
Adams Town Administrator Jonathan Butler consulted with state Sen. Benjamin Downing’s counsel about the legislation, and Butler said the agreement is not in danger, but working out the details will take up to a year.
Regarding whether the current seniors will graduate at the school this June, Hoosac Valley principal Henry Duval said "that’s the plan."
"What it will come down to ultimately is the certificate of occupancy," Duval said.
DeForest added that the areas in use would have to be completely cleared in terms of safety before a definitive decision was made.
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