The Public Building Commission heard updates on the completion of the Walsh Intermediate School and Community Center projects at its April meeting at Fire Headquarters. Timelines and possible delays regarding resumption of sports activities, specifically football and swimming, were discussed.
Tom Arcari (speaking) of QA&M Architects (formerly Quisenberry-Arcari) said there is “some slippage” in the schedule for the Community Center completion. A 40-day adjustment may be necessary due to inclement weather and in receiving the final building permits from the town.
The designated completion date for the $12.1 million project is Oct. 31. 2018, six months from now.
Arcari said materials can’t be released until the permits are in place and therein lies the rub. The permitting checklist is in the hands of Bruce Spiewack, an independent specialist in building, fire code, safety and access code compliance, who, Arcari said, keeps adding to the list with items such as grab-bars and the technology plan that were not part of the original list.
“We had a specific meeting for the list and drawings six months ago,” Arcari said, adding that the normal turnaround is 30 days. He said the town’s building officials won’t look at the list and that he’s tried to have a closeout meeting.
On the upside, Arcari said that the piles are all in, the pile caps are still underway, and the steel has been ordered; the steel work can’t be started until the pile caps are done. There could be some infrastructure challenges in ground where the site was torn up, he said.
“We can make up some time and we could have some temporary occupancy,” Arcari said. Once the permitting process is completed, it will be like “a swarm of bees on the site.”
And he conceded, “We’re actually in a good place.”
Construction manager A. Secondino was asked to attend the meeting and Arcardi stressed the importance of that. However, he said Dave Secondino had a prior commitment.
Recreation Director Alex Palluzzi, Jr., who has been on site every day, told The Eagle that the rooms are framed and that he’s pleased with the progress. Discussions are underway regarding the official name for the completed building. Palluzzi has previously noted that the 12-month schedule was overly ambitious and that 18 months was more realistic.
Impact of Construction on Walsh Football, Swim Teams
Regarding the $88.2 million Walsh renovation project, Scott Pellman of Collier’s International, owner’s rep, said that a meeting will be held with Michelle Dixon of the Office of School Construction Grants & Review to finalize requisition payment and the state; funding for Walsh and the Board of Education offices are being handled separately.
Michael LoSasso of Antinozzi Architects reviewed diagrams for the relocation of the nurse’s office and health clinic. The teachers’ lounge will also be relocated to the second floor.
There was some discussion of the impact of construction on sports activities and location of a temporary basketball court. The current basketball court, which is used only for recess and gym and not competitively, will have to be relocated due to the new traffic patterns, which also affect softball fields. One of the suggested locations is at the end of the track field, outside of the construction area, but that puts it in a flood plain area. LoSasso said he would look into other areas.
Board member James Killelea lamented the lack of access to the pool for three months during the summer. He said a group of seniors swims there and that there’s a convivial atmosphere that’s not found at the Y, the alternative location. And, John O’Connor said that the delays in swim team and youth football practice were concerning. Nothing can start until the parking areas are complete.
It has yet to be determined how much effect the Walsh and Community Center projects will have on fall sports schedules.
Chris Toussaint of Fusco Corp. said that rebidding is due May 1 for landscaping and epoxy flooring.