Potential $6.3 Million School Renovation, Construction Plan Could Face Voters

HAMPSTEAD – Breadloaf Architects, Planners and Builders of Middlebury, Vt., has been handling the proposed design and plans for renovations and new classroom construction proposals for Hampstead Central School and for the entrance and library renovations at Hampstead Middle School. The work is considered phase 1 of a larger project, and is the phase the School Board has chosen to consider for a warrant article in March.
Including everything proposed for both schools, voters could be asked to approve a $6.3 million project.

Chris Huston, Breadloaf director of architecture, presented the School Board with the updated design and cost analysis Tuesday evening, Oct. 22. He said the fully developed schematic design isn’t much different from what was proposed in July of 2012. His budget presents what had initially been proposed and what the figures are today, two years later.
The new construction would enclose the Central School courtyard and connect from the kindergarten classrooms to the gym and cafeteria, adding a two-floor addition housing six classrooms and four academic support rooms, extensions of the four kindergarten classrooms in the wing, and a hallway connecting the new construction to the main building area. New exterior veneer would extend to the 1967 wing from the new construction, ending the energy and air quality issues in that area.
The initial estimate for the Central School building area that would undergo renovation was 3,858 square feet. That has increased to 10,512 square feet. The new construction was initially estimated at 15,560 square feet, and that has increased to 15,804 square feet. The increase in renovation area is driven by the Fire Department requirement that the 1967 wing have sprinklers.
The estimated construction cost has increased from $4,330,500 to $4,926,091 for Central School. Huston added five alternatives to be considered, whose cost is not in the $4,926,091 price but would collectively add $597,300, bringing the total cost to $5,523,391.
The alternatives Huston suggested are:
• Nurse’s office and staff restroom – $29,200.
• Lobby restrooms – $45,300.
• Building-wide sprinkler system – $223,600.
• New elevator – $228,100.
• More brick veneer – $71,100.
Huston said the benefit from having the entire building covered by a sprinkler system would be reduced insurance cost. However, he defended the 15 percent increase in the estimated cost of the project by noting the chief driver is the two years that have elapsed since the original estimate and the increase in labor and materials costs since then.
He also noted a booster pump would be needed for the fire protection system, and there is a slight increase in the mechanical system costs.
Board member Jason Cipriano asked for the estimated length of construction, and Huston said they anticipate a 12-month construction period. He said the construction drawings will be finalized and ready for the Town Meeting vote, so if the voters approve the article, Breadloaf would be ready to immediately issue the plans and seek sub-contractor bids. Breadloaf would continue as general contractor.
The Middle School renovation design is a separate project and Huston estimated it would be completed in about four months. It involves a new entrance with an energy-efficient vestibule and canopy, defining the main entrance to the school. The renovations to the library and computer lab would include removing asbestos tile in the corridor and opening up the library by adding windows to the hallway and in the ceiling to permit increased natural light.
The increase in the estimated building area square footage from the initial estimate of 3,497 square feet is to 3,802 square feet. The initial cost estimate for the Middle School renovation was $823,500, and because Breadloaf found they could eliminate a water tank that is not required by the Fire Department, the cost decreased to $816,555.
Huston said they consider the schools as two separate projects because they are located at separate sites, and both would require project supervision.
It is now up to the board to prepare a warrant article, if that is the direction the board chooses to take. Voters would be looking at a potentially $5.5 million renovation and construction project at Central School and a second $816,555 project at the Middle School, or an overall potential project cost of $6,339,946.

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