NIAGARA FALLS – The city School Board later this month will be asked to approve $5.3 million in payments to contractors working on the district’s ongoing capital improvement project.

These would be the second set of payments in two months for construction work on the $67 million “Inventing Tomorrow” project.

The proposed payments the board will vote on are:

• Mark Cerrone Inc., Niagara Falls – $1,325,523 for site development.

• Rodems Construction, Orchard Park – $1,267,367 for general construction.

• Ferguson Electric, Buffalo – $1,749,995.

• Quackenbush Co., Buffalo – $544,726 for mechanical/HVAC work.

• Grove Roofing, Buffalo – $240,037.

• John W. Danforth Co., Tonawanda - $129,227 for plumbing.

The amount to be paid, along with the $3.2 million paid last month and $252,990 paid for work billed in June, covers about 21 percent of the total project work, said Deputy Superintendent Mark Laurrie. About 30 percent of the construction work was completed through Sept. 1, which covers the first 84 days of the project, he said.

Superintendent Cynthia Bianco told the board during Thursday night’s meeting that the project remains on schedule and on budget.

“I definitely think it’s going in the right direction,” said board member Anthony F. Paretto, who toured some of the work on the new athletic fields behind Niagara Falls High School earlier this week.

The entire project includes repairs, renovations, improvements to security, increased energy efficiency, Americans With Disabilities Act compliance at district buildings and new athletic fields.

The board on Thursday informally agreed to allow a contractor hired to oversee construction work on the district’s behalf to have one person do the oversight rather than two. When the board meets Sept. 26, it will have to formally vote on amending a previously approved contract that called for two persons to do the work.

Board members who agreed to let the contractor, Ron Shiesley, take on all the oversight himself after one of his employees retired, cited the number of people already involved in the capital project on the district’s behalf, including three district employees: Laurrie; Earl Smeal, assistant capital projects manager; and David Spacone, operations and maintenance supervisor.

The district is also paying LPCiminelli a fee as construction manager.

“The project’s going well,” Laurrie told the board. “We have a good team.”

In phases one and two, a total of $42 million in contracts was awarded for hard construction costs. There is an additional $11 million in soft costs, which include architecture and design work, construction management and furniture.

The district is planning to send plans for the third phase – expected to cost about $13 million – to the state Education Department for approval on Oct. 11, Laurrie said. District officials expect to have the state’s approval in April, which will allow the district to put the work out to bid and potentially approve contracts in May, he said.