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GES maintenance project will require additional funds

August 11, 2010
The Gilford Elementary School maintenance project currently underway was originally budgeted at $45,000, but after a recent building assessment it was clear that more steel will be needed to support the building for an additional $7,200.

The steel columns will support the outside wall of the building and help support the overall safety and soundness of the building when construction is completed mid-fall. The repairs were approved by the School Board last Wednesday morning.

Original funds were set for repairs on the exterior of GES by three classrooms in the kindergarten wing, the old entrance back in the '80s.

Assistant Superintendent of Businesses Scott Isabelle said the $45,000 would go to replacing the wood, which had corroded over the years, with brick, as well as new heaters and replacing outdated windows with new ones.

Original budgeted funds would have covered this project alone, yet when Building Superintendent Tim Bartlett and his crew assessed the building, they had concerns with structural problems and decided the plan needed design improvements.

The School District asked Fisher Engineering, the SAU office's lowest bidder, to evaluate the building and name a new price for construction.

The new design will include five structural steel columns, at $7,200, above where an old roof used to stand and a prior steel beam had been cut during past renovations.

"By removing the steel beam above, they have compromised the front of the building and the front wall," said Isabelle, who believes the building will now be up to current standards. "Once they opened the walls and the beam was cut off, (they saw that) columns should have been added back in the '80s for more support."

Now that electrical project upgrades have been completed at the Gilford High School, balance availability showed itself, and the School Board has approved the transferring of additional funds from the GHS capitol project to the GES capitol project.

Construction at GES started last Thursday and should be completed by late October, or November or December if a special exception to the bidding process had not been made.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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