Hampstead School Board Proceeds with Building Plan

HAMPSTEAD – The School Board has unanimously approved spending $284,750 for design and construction documents for proposed renovations at Hampstead Central and Middle schools. Meeting before the eighth grade Hampstead Middle School graduation ceremony Friday, June 21, the board heard Assistant Superintendent Winfried Fenenberg present an Integrated Project Management Services proposal from the Bread Loaf Corporation for design and build services.

The pre-bond design and preconstruction proposal for Hampstead Middle School is $51,000 and includes $9,000 for the schematic design, $15,000 for design development and $27,000 for construction documents. This would cover removal of asbestos from the library, reconfiguring the library to accommodate a learning common area and reconfiguring the entrance to the school.

The pre-bond and preconstruction for Hampstead Central School totals $233,750. This includes $41,250 for the schematic design, $66,750 for design development, and $123,750 for construction documents, and would cover the construction design of a classroom addition to the school to accommodate students and services now held in trailers, which would then be eliminated. The proposal also includes repairs to the south wing wall and windows to make them energy efficient and safe.

Bread Loaf’s Chris Huston, who has worked with the School District and the Facilities Committee on this project for several years, said it would be more economical to do the design and construction documents for both projects at the same time.

The board decided to wave the requirement to go out to bid, saying this is a continuation of a project begun a number of years ago. However, member Jim Stewart noted that the next steps would require bids.
Work between Bread Loaf and the board and Facilities Committee will have to begin immediately in order to have the proposals finished in time for going out for a bond that would allow a warrant article proposal for the March 2014 Town Meeting.

The board made it clear that its priority is to do the work at Central School and shelve the plans for the Middle School for the next phase of the project. The board’s thinking is that to gain community support for the work needed at Central School, including the Middle School project would be a distraction. The board also did not want residents to gravitate toward the less expensive project.

Business Manager George Stokinger said there is sufficient money in surplus to cover this cost, so long as he has the final agreement in hand prior to June 30.

In other business:
• The board approved a new half-time physical education position for the Middle School and a new Special Education teacher at Central School, and re-nominated the Central School Math Title 1 teacher.
• The emergency access road proposal for the two lane paved street between the Middle School and Emerson Avenue has been sent to the state Department of Environmental Services (DES). Wetland issues are involved, and DES has not responded.
• Negotiations with Whitsons, the District’s Food Service provider, have been productive and the expected loss faced by the district on food service is not the $40,000 previously anticipated but is about $10,000 or less.

The board learned the contract with Whitsons has been renegotiated and Superintendent Earl Metzler is optimistic that over the next year, food service can break even or make a profit. He said steps have been taken for better monitoring of food service, and more attention will be paid to employees’ suggestions.
Metzler also noted there would be a 10 cent increase on the cost of reimbursable meals, and for some voluntary items there would be a 5 percent increase. Hampstead Middle School named Angie Gorham as Volunteer of the Year for 2012-2013.

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