Tonawanda News

January 15, 2014

Music room construction set to start at City schools

By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Renovations on the Tonawanda Middle and High School’s music rooms could begin this week as part of the district’s nearly $12 million endeavor, capital project managers told the school board at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

“We met with the contractors at a kick-off meeting, but we haven’t received the contracts back yet,” Gloria Ciminelli, of Pike Co., said. “Once we get them, construction will begin.”

Earlier in January, the board held a special meeting to approve the bids for the project to ensure construction began on time. The renovations were set to begin today, Ciminelli said.

“The bids were very successful, we were under budget and it will allow us to start on time,” she said.

The district originally planned to complete additions at the school 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 change in plans meant the project’s architectural firm, Wendel, had to go back to the drawing board and prepare an addendum for state Department of Education approval. The addition was initially set to be complete in November.

Once construction begins, the demolition of the choral room will take place first, and temporary enclosures will ensure the safety of students. Demolition of the band room will take place next.

“When the weather breaks, in mid-March, we’ll take the band room roof off. That’s a major part of this project,” Ciminelli said.

The work will be complete by the end of June.

“Because we are doing a demolition project and raising the roof, we’ll know at that point if anything is going to slow the project up,” Ciminelli said.

Contractors will also complete electrical wiring work during school breaks in the next five months. The first portion of the project — the new football field — was complete at the start of the academic year.

Budget talks also began at Monday night’s meeting, and William Brothers, of Premier Consulting, presented a proposal to assist the district in the management of its healthcare plans.

Brothers said he works with 11 major school districts in the area — and argued that claim management, purchasing power and additional healthcare plans can save the district money and plan for the future.

Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000 ext. 4150, or follow her on Twitter @JessicaLBagley.