Tonawanda News

January 10, 2013

Tonawanda capital project going out to bid

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Bids for the City of Tonawanda school district’s multimillion dollar capital project are set to go out Friday, according to Brian Brady of Wendel, the architectural firm on the job.

”We got word today that the State Department of Education approved the final documents,” Brady said. “We are just waiting for the architect to sign off ... it’s a formality at this point.”

Brady expects the architectural drawings to be completely finalized by the end of the day Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest.

The bids for the $12 million project will likely be due back at the end of January or beginning of February, timed to come in a few days before a board meeting. 

”We will then review the low bidder’s qualifications and make our recommendation the board,” Brady said. 

Project director Peter Buckley, of Pike Co., said the estimates for the project came in about $129,000 over the original calculation of $11.9 million.

But Buckley said he believes the bids will come back at about 10 percent below the current estimate. 

Representatives from Wendel and Pike Co. will be at the board’s next meeting, Jan. 22, to discuss the various phases of the project. 

The football field and track are scheduled to be complete sometime in mid-August and the music wing, a more complicated structure, is slated for September or October. 

Interim Superintendent Mary Beth Scullion informed the board at Tuesday’s meeting that the state has also approved the district’s new teacher evaluation system. 

The documents were resubmitted to the state in late December after the district received revision requests.

Scullion said she was notified about the state’s approval of those revisions this week, before the Jan. 17 deadline to retain state funding.

”You saved the district from a catastrophe, in my eyes,” Board member Sharon Stuart told Scullion.

The new teacher review system will see building principals visiting classrooms more often to perform quantitative annual performance reviews.

The board also approved additional high school courses offerings at the meeting. 

Director of Special Education Amy Edgerton said the two courses will cover the same material as typical freshman-year classes, living environment

and algebra. 

But the courses will be administered over a two-year period instead of one year, giving students who need it extra time to complete the coursework.

At the end of the students’ sophomore year, they will take the Regents exam.

”Other districts do this, and it’s OK by the state,” Edgerton said. 

Edgerton noted that students only need a passing grade, 65 percent or higher, on one science Regents and one math Regents to receive a Regents diploma. 

Edgerton said about 20 students will be able to take the extended versions of the classes, which will start to be offered

in the fall. 

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150