By ALEX MALM
Steve Gothberg, Director of Construction and Capital Projects for the Warwick School Department told the School Committee last week that like the rest of the country, the district …
By ALEX MALM
Steve Gothberg, Director of Construction and Capital Projects for the Warwick School Department told the School Committee last week that like the rest of the country, the district faces supply chain related issues, specifically for the projects the district hopes to complete this summer.
“We’re running into some budget issues,” said Gothberg.
Gotherg pointed to Sherman School.
Gothberg said that to help control costs the department is working directly with the supplier to buy things like shelving, cubbies, library furniture, shelving, and white boards.
“We’re trying to keep costs down,” said Gothberg.
Gothberg said one of the biggest concerns with the project is the time it takes to get materials. For example windows have gone from a 24 weeks lead time to 26 weeks. He said that the HVAC rooftop equipment has now jumped to a 37 week lead time.
While Gothberg said delays will impact when the job is completed, he doesn’t think it will impact the timetable for the opening of Sherman.
“We’re still aiming for a Christmas vacation return,” said Gothberg.
Gothberg also provided updates on HVAC and ADA at Hoxsie School. He said that the project came in at $1.2 million over the $1.9 million budgeted.
Gothberg said $400,000 was left over from the roofing project two years ago which means that the project is still $800,000 over budget.
Work that needs to be done at Winman had bids come in at higher costs than expected Gothberg said.
Gothberg said that he reviewed options with the Building Committee and said that there are funds initially allocated for Pilgrim, Drum Rock and Toll Gate renovations. Pilgrim and Toll Gate would be replaced if voters approve a $350 million bond issue this fall. As part of that plan Drum Rock would come down. The total amount of funds left from the three schools is around $16 million.
“I see that we’re going to be dealing with runaway costs,” said Gothberg. “I believe we’re going to be way over budget on most of our projects, and we have limited funds nowhere to get additional funds.”
Gothberg said the Building Committee has talked about limiting the scope of the work being done this summer and curtailing portions of projects. He said that the critical thing to do this summer is getting the HVAC projects completed.
“As we move forward tough decisions are going to have to be made by the building committee,” said Gothberg.
Vice Chair David Testa who Chairs the Building Committee said the Hoxsie bid was a “shock.”
Testa said that he is opposed to limiting the scope of work.
School Committee Chair Judy Cobden is concerned about the cost overruns.
“I had a mild heart attack,” she said.
Gothberg noted that when he budgeted the projects he factored in an additional three percent for inflation, which he said is standard. He said that no one could prepare for what is happening now.
Gothberg said that the increase he believes is because of supply chain issues and from work not being done for the past couple of years.
“I see gouging in the supply chain,” said Gothberg.
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