Bedford school officials are planning their next step after the district’s capital planning committee recommended more than $60 million worth of renovation projects during last week’s school board meeting.
The capital project committee, which is made up of district staff and community members, reported on the results of their two-year study on facilities and the development of a long-range facilities plan.
Suggestions made by the committee include:
- $27.57 million to renovate the West Patent Elementary School
- $15.84 million to renovate Fox Lane Middle School
- $7.62 million to renovate portions of the roofs at Fox Lane High School and all of the elementary schools with the exception of West Patent.
- $13.37 million for other much needed repairs at all of the districts schools, with the exception of Fox Lane Middle and West Patent Elementary schools.
“This is the first time that the board has heard any of this information,” said Susan Elion Wollin, president of the school board. “It’s vastly premature to have any conversation that the board is contemplating X. We’re not. This is informational...we are here as part of the process for what we are going to do going forward.”
The capital planning committee was set up in November 2009 and has spent more than 70 hours inspecting about 850,000 square feet of district space in order to get an idea of the condition of the facilities.
West Patent Elementary School, which was built in 1970 and handles about 350 students a year, has a roof that is past its useful life, deteriorated wood siding that allows water seepage, aging boilers and classrooms with sizes that are below state standards, according to the committee report.
The committee looked at three options for renovating the elementary school. The first option, which is the one that committee recommends, calls for the renovation of the building’s two classroom wings. This option would result in the longest construction time and smaller classroom sizes.
The next option includes a price tag of $37.4 million and calls for the construction of two classroom wings and the demolition of the old structure.
The last option, which costs $32.49 million, would construct a new classroom wing and renovate an existing wing. The remaining classroom would be preserved with the possibility of renovating it in the future.
Other details pertaining to the long-range plan can be seen in the presentation posted with this story.
Mark Betz, the district’s assistant superintendent for business, said the next step for the school board is to schedule separate dates to discuss the recommendations with the board and the public, re-examine project estimates and prioritize the projects.