By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — The Mullen Elementary roof replacement is, for the most part, complete but the project came in $170,000 over budget, according to Project Manager Peter Buckley.
Buckley said the contingency budget allowed for $25,000 to $35,000 of overage, meaning the district will need to determine the source of $140,000 in additional costs.
“It was not installed correct in the first place in the 1960s,” Buckley said. “So I’m glad that we did it. I wouldn’t want to see another winter like this.”
An $11 million dollar capital project that includes a new football stadium and music rooms at the high school, allows for about $600,000 in contingency funds — around 4 or 5 percent of the total project costs.
“So we have made a significant bite into that,” board member Jennifer Mysliwy said at Tuesday’s meeting.
Buckley, from the architecture firm Wendel overseeing the project, assured the board that although the roof replacement will present a challenge, it won’t affect the project as a whole.
“It is not an overwhelming disparity to attend to with an $11 million project,” Buckley said.
Buckley also reminded the board that contractors had no way of knowing the extent of the roof’s damage during the budgeting process for the project.
“Unless you have X-ray vision, you wouldn’t know about it for the last 60 years,” Buckley said.
Riverview repairs are scheduled for next year, but Buckley assumes the roof is not in nearly as bad condition based on tests done at the beginning of the process.
Failures that occurred at Mullen simply didn’t occur at Riverview, he said.
Buckley also said there is a possibility that money saved from the Riverview repairs could help with the loss at Mullen.
Meanwhile, Wendel representatives are working on finishing the final estimates for the stadium and music wing.
“Because of the changes at Mullen, we are looking to sharpen the pencil and be very diligent with the costs there,” Buckley said. “And keep it to the core of the project.”
The district is waiting on the state’s approval of the project, which is set to come in around Thanksgiving. The state will approve the safety coding for the project and issue the permit.
But representatives assured the board that there is no way the state could jeopardize funding or nix the project.
After the approval, the project will be out for bids shortly after Jan. 1. So far, the project is on schedule, according to Buckley.
Superintedent Whitney Vantine took the opportunity to assure the public the project is still on track despite rumors floating around town that the project is over.
“That’s garbage,” he said. “This doesn’t mean the project is dead or that it can’t move forward. We are doing well.”
Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
• Tonawanda High School principal Dr. James Newton attended the meeting to give a brief presentation on the school’s clubs. Newton is searching for an advisor for Rachel’s Challenge, an anti-violence club inspired by the acts at Columbine.
• Mullen Elementary Principal Jessica Lyons also attended Tuesday’s meeting and announced a week of fundraising and events for a student at the school who was diagnosed with Leukemia last May. The school is taking donations for footprints and luminary bags to be used during a Heros Come in All Sizes walk 1:45 p.m. Oct. 5 in the school’s bus loop. Proceeds will help defray medical costs for the family.
Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150.