Tonawanda News

July 25, 2013


By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Contractors at the Tonawanda High School are on schedule to complete the district’s new football and track stadium by the start of the football season, Superintendent James Newton said. 

The majority of the track and the field are complete, and workers are now constructing the restrooms and concessions building. 

“The shell of the structure is done, and they are working on the roof,” Newton said. “They are just starting the electrical and plumbing work in the building.”

New sidewalks are also being installed and contractors are also ready to start paving the new bus loop near the stadium that will provide for easier drop offs. 

Temporary lighting is up around the track, as well, but the permanent structures have not yet been put in.

“The lighting is an attempt to deter people from trying to go on the field, because the sealant is on the track and it takes some time,” Newton said. “People are very excited and want to go on it.”

Work inside the school has also begun. The future fitness room, which previously housed a classroom and an office, has been gutted and is ready for the remodeling work to commence.

Renovations on the choral and band rooms won’t begin until school starts. The district originally planned to complete additions for the two rooms, but the bids for that portion of the project came in more than $600,000 over budget.

The board then decided to renovate the two rooms instead of completing the expansion. The work will include raising the roof of the band room and expanding the width of the choral room to provide more space and better acoustics. 

But the change meant the project’s architectural firm, Wendel, had to go back to the drawing board and send an addendum to the state Department of Education for approval of the renovation.

“We are sending the final drawings in early August, and expect a week or two wait before receiving approval,” Brian Brady, of Wendel, said. 

Work will then begin in the fall and may last until April and will be the last phase of the nearly $12 million project.

The repair of the Riverview Elementary roof is also on budget, Newton said, much to the relief of district officials. Last year, during repairs to the Mullen Elementary roof, workers discovered that the roof was in complete disrepair. Contractors ended up replacing the roof, and the project came in at $170,000 over budget.

“The roof at Riverview is in pretty good shape, and we are on schedule there financially,” Newton said. 

The district is also in the process of obtaining estimates for technology upgrades as part of the capital project, including wiring for safety access cards to the schools, security cameras and the improvement of the telephone system.