Sunday, December 5, 2010

12/3 MRJ Article on CHS Boy's Locker Room

The 12/3 MRJ article describes the 12/2 BOE Business Meeting vote on the locker room. The BOE voted unanimously to approve up to $10K to solicit proposal and estimates from engineering firms on solutions to the locker room problems. The $10K will be taken from the $500K currently allocated to the project. Apparently, the last TC resolution/referendum assigned the project to the BOE, not the PBC. Although it's not assigned to the PBC, I believe PBC representation on this project is imperative to ensure the locker room is addressed appropriately and within PBC & ADA guidelines. As a first step, the BOE needs to solicit designs for the locker room, then garner estimates.

You may have seen me quote the phrase "Shoot, Ready, Aim!" in the past when it comes to certain Town & BOE capital projects. In some ways, this phrase applies to the locker room. Someone, somewhere derived a cost estimate of $500K which was put on the referendum and approved by voters. However, it appears that we don't know what the estimate truly is so we need to hire a firm, after the fact. Shouldn't the last BOE have voted to hire an engineering firm (FIRST) before arbitrarily picking $500K to be put on the referendum? Cart/Horse.

If you watched the meeting Thurs night, you heard misinformation from Stephen Mrowka regarding his recollection of the locker room. According to Stephen, the ceilings are less than 8 feet tall and the room is not usable whatsoever.  Stephen also indicated the last time he was physically in the locker room which was many years ago when it was used for shop class.

Back to reality for a moment...the ceilings are adequate and the drop ceiling system can be replaced/retrofitted to sit higher if needed. The reason the tiles are an issue is not due to students bumping their heads into them but rather the humidity/moisture that permeates the space. At least we all agree that the ventilation is a key issue for the space.

Regarding the drainage "issue", Mr. Mascianna reminded the BOE that it's been well over a year since the drain backed up in the locker room and that, coincidentally, the problem stopped after the drain was snaked some time ago.
I'm just trying to put the problems into proper perspective which seems to get buried under the embellishment of a few on the BOE.

The BOE Planning Committee's focus is to attack the four known issues in the current CHS Boy's locker room (Drainage, Ventilation, Locker Space, ADA Compliance). However, during Thursday's meeting, it was obvious that the administration and a few BOE members are hoping that whatever firm is hired for the design phase, will recommend a field house solution.

Preliminary estimates on a field house put's the cost around $1.2M. The voters approved $500K to fix the existing locker room, not to build a field house. There's no funding for a field house.

It seems that elevators are the bane of existence for our school district because should renovations be undertaken at the locker room, we may need to install an elevator for access to the locker room for ADA compliance in addition to ramps, specialized door handles, etc. Elevators seem start at $450K.

It could very well be that the cost to renovate the locker room will be more significant than $500K. Time will tell. Meanwhile, the BOE is preparing for what appears to be yet another difficult budget process.


Anonymous said...

Some projects do seem to be done a** backwards as does the approval of new budgets.

Why can't the budget cycle be from September 1 to August 31st? That way the Board should have an accurate ECS number instead of putting in a number and hoping that's what it ends up being.

Tony Perugini said...

This year, I requested that Dr. Florio present two versions of the budget in January: his recommended budget as well as a budget that takes into consideration known factors such as elimination of ECS funding, no concession from the union, budget parameters discussed at the budget preview meeting with the TC a few weeks ago as well as recommendations from the 20/20 committee. I call this the best case/worst case scenario. It doesn't mean that the BOE must pick one or the other, naturally Dr. Florio will stand behind his recommended budget but I believe it's important to spell out the ramifications of certain inputs earlier in the process.

IF there has to be reductions, we'll know exactly what they are in January...not May.

If Hartford can publish an ECS number sooner than June it would be a huge help to both the TC and BOE. But given the current state of being in Hartford, I wouldn't bet on it.

tim white said...

I doubt you'll have an ECS number in June. My guess is that Malloy will try to be an adult. But he's stuck with the children who prefer to focus on stuff like getting a $120,000 per year, no-show job for Crusher (thank you Spkr Donovan!) and... delivering $3.75 million to the Putnam YMCA and protecting the funding for his personal chauffeur (thank you Senate Prez Williams!)

I would love to see Donovan and Williams get booted by their caucuses, but they won't. Most legislators are too concerned about maintaining their "reserved" parking space to cross The Chosen Ones.

I wish Malloy the best of luck... and hope that the BOE gets an ECS number by June. This budget may drag out through the summer if Malloy does what he needs to do.

Anonymous said...

So you requested 2 versions of the budget but did Florio say he'd present two?

Your idea is a good should hopefully help explain to the public what we're up against so they can't claim they were unaware.

Tony Perugini said...

"Your idea is a good should hopefully help explain to the public what we're up against so they can't claim they were unaware.

Dr. Florio indicated he will present what the finance committee asked for. As for this helping with awareness...we shall see.

Breachway said...

I wish there was something the schools could do to try and help avoid what happened in Griswold yesterday. As a parent of a young driver, it is my worse nightmare. I know its not the schools problem but keep doing the mock car crashes with the fire dept and anything else you can do to get into these kids heads...very sad to see these young faces on all the newspaper web sites

Anonymous said...

It was nice to see that Mr. Milone took a 3 year pay freeze. At least he's doing his part in this difficult economic time. Now let's see who follows his lead.

Tony Perugini said...

Greg Florio has taken a pay freeze for the last 3 years. It seems that many, except for one group, has come to the table to help. Glad to see town staff pitching in as well.