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CONVAL

Paving costs higher than expected

Bids to fix ConVal parking lot more than $500,000 over initial estimates

  • ConVal School Superintendent Dick Bergeron, left, listens to words of praise from School Board Chair Butch Estey during Bergeron's last ConVal School Board meeting.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    ConVal School Superintendent Dick Bergeron, left, listens to words of praise from School Board Chair Butch Estey during Bergeron's last ConVal School Board meeting.

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Members of ConVal’s state championship softball team were honored at Tuesday’s School Board meeting. Shown are, from left, Ana Hautanen, Bryanna Lindsay, Emmasae Hallen, Maryssa Williams, Maxine Dunn, Courtney Fisher, Katie Walker, assistant coach Amanda Hinton and coach Jim Coppo. ConVal Principal Brian Pickering said of the team, “Good things happen to good people. They played with great confidence and pride. Even if you weren’t a softball fan, you became one quickly.”<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Members of ConVal’s state championship softball team were honored at Tuesday’s School Board meeting. Shown are, from left, Ana Hautanen, Bryanna Lindsay, Emmasae Hallen, Maryssa Williams, Maxine Dunn, Courtney Fisher, Katie Walker, assistant coach Amanda Hinton and coach Jim Coppo. ConVal Principal Brian Pickering said of the team, “Good things happen to good people. They played with great confidence and pride. Even if you weren’t a softball fan, you became one quickly.”

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • ConVal High School Principal Brian Pickering talks to the School Board about the school's state championship softball team as player Katie Walker holds the championship plaque. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    ConVal High School Principal Brian Pickering talks to the School Board about the school's state championship softball team as player Katie Walker holds the championship plaque.

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • ConVal High School Principal Brian Pickering with Katie Walker, a member of t school's state championship softball team. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    ConVal High School Principal Brian Pickering with Katie Walker, a member of t school's state championship softball team.

    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • ConVal School Superintendent Dick Bergeron, left, listens to words of praise from School Board Chair Butch Estey during Bergeron's last ConVal School Board meeting.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Members of ConVal’s state championship softball team were honored at Tuesday’s School Board meeting. Shown are, from left, Ana Hautanen, Bryanna Lindsay, Emmasae Hallen, Maryssa Williams, Maxine Dunn, Courtney Fisher, Katie Walker, assistant coach Amanda Hinton and coach Jim Coppo. ConVal Principal Brian Pickering said of the team, “Good things happen to good people. They played with great confidence and pride. Even if you weren’t a softball fan, you became one quickly.”<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • ConVal High School Principal Brian Pickering talks to the School Board about the school's state championship softball team as player Katie Walker holds the championship plaque. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • ConVal High School Principal Brian Pickering with Katie Walker, a member of t school's state championship softball team. <br/><br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

PETERBOROUGH — Bids came in considerably higher than expected for the revamping of the ConVal High School parking lot. As a result, the School Board is looking into breaking the project into two phases, in the hope of getting new bus lanes, a drop-off lane for parents, walkways and a new traffic pattern done this summer. That would delay the complete paving of the lot, but ConVal Facilities Manager Tim Grossi says the worst potholes will definitely be repaired this summer

“I’ll have to reallocate some money to patch the lot, but that’s absolutely necessary,” Grossi said in his office after he spoke about the lot to the School Board on Tuesday.

Grossi said two bids were received on the project, one of $864,844 and the other at $875,700. Two years ago, the School Board had set aside $350,000, based on earlier estimates, and that money was to be used this summer.

“The costs came in significantly more than budgeted,” Grossi told the board. He said both contractors had determined that the entire lot would have to be torn up and the material under the asphalt replaced, which had not been anticipated two years ago. Grossi said test borings had been done to try to determine if a full reconstruction was needed, but the results were inconclusive.

“The last thing I want to do is put down something that won’t last,” he said.

Grossi asked the board for approval to negotiate with the low bidder, the Mathewson Companies of Hancock, for a phased-in schedule that would allow the full paving to be postponed for a year, while the design changes could be put in this summer.

The design calls for an access lane for school buses on the edge of the lot closest to the school. The lane, wide enough for two buses to park side by side, would sit close to the edge of the ConVal gymnasium wing, in an area that was a garden space before the recent gym renovations. The plants that were in that garden are being stored at ConVal and will eventually be used for landscaping, Grossi said.

Next to the bus lanes, but separated by a fence, will be a lane for parents who drop off and pick up students. There will be walkways all the way to the athletic fields and to Route 202 and designated crossing areas into the parking lot. The layout will also change, with cars parking in four long lanes on a north-south axis. The lanes would all be one-way, with the lane on the far side leading directly to a wider exit onto Route 202. The apron in front of the school will become smaller due to the new bus lane, but it will also be more accessible, Grossi said.

Board members asked about scaling back the project. Grossi said the design will address numerous safety issues, which was the main concern as the project was developed.

The board approved a motion to authorize Grossi to negotiate for a phased-in approach. The board also approved a motion to continue to hold $350,000 to be used for the parking lot.

The rest of the money needed will have to be raised either as part of next year’s budget or through a warrant article, Grossi said after the meeting.

In other business:

∎ Board Chair Butch Estey lauded School Superintendent Dick Bergeron, who was attending his last School Board meeting.

“Dick took the helm and moved us forward,” Estey said. He cited the approval of a teacher contract, the building of a strong management team, the gym renovation project and curriculum initiatives as examples of Bergeron’s achievements.

“We are a better district because he’s been here,” Estey said.

∎ The board declined a request from a Greenfield woman to address the board during the public comment portion of the meeting. When board member Myron Steere of Greenfield asked Estey if the woman would be allowed to speak, Estey said the district’s legal counsel had advised him that the woman’s concerns should be taken up in a nonpublic session.

“I’m not going to allow discussion of personnel in open session,” Estey said.

Steere made a motion that the woman be allowed to speak, but the board voted, 3 to 7, not to hear her.

After the meeting, the woman, Kim Kamieniecki of Greenfield, said she was hoping to tell the board, without using any names, about what her son has been through. She said she didn’t know if she would talk to the board in a nonpublic session.

“I’ll see what they want me to do,” Kamieniecki said.

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