School building renovations on track
By Bradley Koltz
The $65.8 million renovation project for the Johnson and Rockwell Schools, for which the Town has secured state funding of 45%, or $29.61 million, has moved a step further last week when the building committee, on Tuesday night, October 8th, approved the final plans and cost estimates for the renovations to Rockwell and Johnson elementary schools.
School Committee members then met with State officials on Wednesday, October 10th and received approval for contractor Rizzo Construction to seek bids on the work.
Plans had initially called for crews to begin hazardous materials abatement at Rockwell this winter, but the work will now be done over summer vacation, avoiding the need for temporary portable classrooms for students during the normal school session.
Removal of asbestos, PCBs and lead are expected to be done over the summer.
Work at Rockwell is expected to be completed by November 2020, while Johnson is expected to be complete by January 2021.
The Rockwell School was built in 1971 and the Johnson School was built in 1980. Both schools are considered to be too small, and to have outdated roofing, as well as heating and cooling systems. Neither is handicapped accessible, Town officials have said.
The renovated buildings will include natural light, updated media centers, a new traffic pattern and other improvements.