Schenectady County

Contractors selected for Mont Pleasant Middle School project

Bast Hatfield is going to have a busy week.
This gym at Mont Pleasant Middle School will be turned into a wing of classrooms for sixth-graders. Another gym in the building will remain open.
This gym at Mont Pleasant Middle School will be turned into a wing of classrooms for sixth-graders. Another gym in the building will remain open.

Bast Hatfield is going to have a busy week.

The company was chosen Wednesday as the successful bidder for the $19.3 million renovation of Mont Pleasant Middle School.

Students have already left for the summer. If the renovations design had been approved on time by the state Education Department, work would have started as soon as the students left.

Instead, workers are losing precious days as they get set up to start the project.

“We’re trying to crunch into a weekend what should take 30 days,” said Larry Tune of Turner Construction, part of the design team. “It’s really 30 days for guys to buy subcontracts, materials.”

The project will change a second-floor gym and first-floor locker room into a wing of classrooms for sixth-graders. It must be done in about 14 months, before the start of school in September 2016.

Although that’s more than a year away, contractors are already warning that the wing will only be “substantially complete” on time. Renovations to the rest of the building will continue for months into the 2016-2017 school year, the design team told the school board.

The board held an emergency meeting Wednesday to approve contracts, not wanting to delay work even one more week. Next Wednesday is the board’s regular meeting date.

In addition to awarding an $8.77 million contract to Bast Hatfield as general contractor, the board awarded a $2.79 million contract to Harold Clune for electrical work, $6.69 million to E.W. Tompkins Co. Inc. for HVAC, and $1.1 million to DiGesare Mechanical for plumbing.

They’ll work at least 12 hours a day all summer to squeeze the job into the limited time they have left. When school starts, they’ll work in the evening.

Because evening work costs more, the district had to cut $400,000 out of the project. Cuts included long-needed renovations to the bathrooms, new ventilation systems in the gym and auditorium, and lower ceilings in some classrooms.

Each school (Mont Pleasant, Oneida and Central Park) will have about 250 students per grade. The elementary schools will house grades kindergarten through five.

The work is funded by state building aid and a state grant, with likely no cost to city property taxpayers.

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