A week after learning a major portion of the Tonawanda City School District’s $11.9 million capital project is in jeopardy, the Board of Education met with project managers to reassess their plans during a special meeting Tuesday night.
While the major highlight of the project – building a new Clint Small Stadium at the Tonawanda High/Middle School complex – continues to proceed on schedule, an addition to the high school/middle school building that would include new music classrooms is likely to be significantly altered from the original plans approved by the public.
“Whether we like it or not, the music wing is just not going to happen,” said board Vice President Demelt Shaw.
District officials are reassessing the project because bids for the general construction of the addition came in about $450,000 more than anticipated.
That, combined with the additional expenses incurred by replacing the roof of Mullen Elementary School, adds about $730,000 to the project, which eliminates any contingency funds built into the plan.
“It truly is a situation that is out of our control,” said board member Sharon Stuart.
Board members wondered if a smaller revised addition is possible.
Another alternative is to simply renovate the existing building instead of building an addition. However, project managers have not created any design proposals to show the board.
“For me, it’s hard to say that’s the direction we want to go in when we don’t have anything concrete,” board member Jennifer Mysliwy told the project managers. “I want you to wow me with some wonderful change.”
“In the short term, it will be difficult to not have some disappointment [in a revised project], but over the long term, people will walk in and say, ‘What a fabulous room,’ ” said Brian Brady of Wendel Duchscherer Architects.
The board approved a motion to allow project managers to bid out the remaining portions of the stadium project.
It approved a $3.8 million bid last week for site construction of the stadium, and Tuesday’s motion would cover smaller aspects of the project, such as concession stands, rest rooms and stadium lighting.