Cost changes OK’d for Riverhead bond work

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Civil service union president Arlene Chastaine hands out a gift to board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse during a school board appreciation moment Tuesday night.

New allowances and change orders for school bond construction work at Phillips Avenue School in Riverside were unanimously approved by the Riverhead school board at its meeting Tuesday night.

The roughly $34,000 in allowances were made because of complications discovered during excavations around the school, school officials said.

The allowances will be paid for by a $40,000 allowance already factored into the bond cost.

The first allowance is for the installation of six new drainage pools near the school’s new front parking lot after site demolition revealed that drainage pools that were believed to be at the site did not actually exist.

The total cost for the additional pools is $20,882, according to the board’s resolution.

The second allowance, a $13,224 expenditure, is to remove large concrete footings discovered under the existing cobblestone curbing along the roadway at the school property.

The footings had to be removed in order to install the new concrete sidewalk, school officials said.

The three change orders to work at Phillips Avenue will cost the district $1,663 in the end.

The first change order will cost $17,752 to pour additional concrete near the back driveway of the school; however, a second change order will save the district $16,089.50 since the wood blocking in the roof of the school is in better repair than originally thought.

The final change order will cost nothing, after the general contractor offered to remove other concrete footings around the parking lot at no cost to offset the reduced cost of demolishing an abandoned electrical vault that was easier than anticipated.

The board also celebrated School Board Recognition Week, as district administrators and union officials gave the board gifts and thanked them for their services.

The district gave board members large gift baskets filled with vegetables and fruits from local farms, while union reps handed out small gift bags to each member.

“These are extraordinarily challenging times to be a member of a board of education,” superintendent Nancy Carney said, “… most particularly having to make very very difficult decisions that oftentimes you don’t want to make as a board of education or as an educator.”

Ms. Carney said the board members have “their hearts all in the right place,” adding that each care about students first.

Riverhead Central Faculty Association president Barbara Barosa also spoke.

“We don’t always agree, but I do realize how hard you work, how much time you give up, how devoted and dedicated you have to be to be in this,” she said.

Riverhead school board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse thanked the administrators and teachers for the cake and pies that were served before the board meeting to board members.

“It’s almost better than Christmas,” she joked as gifts were handed out at the board table. “It’s really a privilege working with these people and working with all of you.”

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