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Ripley school project costs on the rise

January 14, 2016
By David Prenatt ( , Westfield Republican

RIPLEY - Ripley Central School District Board of Education members approved five change orders pertaining to the facilities restoration project and also discussed the need for an anticipated one at a special meeting.

Board President Robert Bentley said the meeting was called because the regular December meeting had been canceled and the change orders needed to be approved in order for the project to move forward. At the same meeting, the board approved a $500 credit received from a project that cost less than anticipated.

Bentley and District Superintendent Dr. Lauren Ormsby also informed board members Jan. 7about the expected need for a change order to properly finish the woodwork in the library. The library has undergone extensive restoration, including a new ceiling, light fixtures and complete asbestos removal. The finish on the woodwork is the final phase of the library project.

Article Photos

Ripley Superintendent Dr. Lauren Ormsby shows board of education members the condition of the woodwork in the library.

The five change orders that the board approved totaled slightly more than $10,000, Bentley said. Although an amount for unexpected costs was built into original estimate for the facilities restoration project, the actual bid came in $160,000 less than anticipated. The total cost to-date for all of the change orders so far has not come close to that amount, Bentley said.

Board members approved one change order to pay for repairs to the flashing around the clock tower. Ormsby said that dripping sound was detected shortly after repairs to the library ceiling were detected. "We had the ceiling open for three months. The day after the ceiling was fixed, we found a leak," she said.

Two change orders involved the locker rooms. A valve was replaced to increase the water pressure. Also, more sensors were required to operate the automatic lighting system because the lockers blocked the signals, Ormsby said.

Additionally a conduit and cable in the gymnasium ceiling had to be moved to one side, and a vent on the roof was expanded and moved away from the edge, Ormsby said.

Regarding the anticipated work needed in the library, Bentley said that the original amount of $25,000 budgeted for the job was reduced to less than $8,000 because the planners were concerned about going over budget. This resulted in the work being downgraded, Bentley said.

Ormsby said that preliminary samples of the finished woodwork were not acceptable. The shelf lines were still visible, as well as places where pictures had been, she said. Also, the work was not as good as the district had hoped.

"We're not going to do all this work on the library and then have a poor finish," Ormsby said. "If they are just giving it an $8,000 lick and polish it will have been a waste."

Bentley said the contractor responsible for the woodwork asked to be released from the project because the district's requirements were beyond his ability.

The specifications for the project were re-written and bids will be sought soon, Bentley said. "I just want everyone to be on the same page with this change order," he said.

In another matter, the board approved a request from Erie 2 BOCES to take part in its $25 million capital project. Ripley's share will be $204,000 over a period of three years, Ormsby said. This figure is all inclusive, including legal fees.

The board approved seeking a bond resolution to pay for Ripley's share, although it is not anticipated that the district will need to use it. Board member Ted Rickenbrode noted that the district should be reimbursed for most of its share through state aid.



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