Committee gets renovation numbers for Alton Central


Numbers presented to the Buildings and Grounds Committee later found to be inaccurate, new numbers yet to be approved


October 12, 2011
ALTON — Members of the Alton School Board and the Buildings and Grounds Committee met on Thursday, Oct. 6, to discuss the cost estimates for the proposed renovation of Alton Central School.

Chip Krause of CMK Architects was not at the meeting, but the committee presented an estimated cost of the proposed renovation, which was later found to be inaccurate, and cost of a new school, which was also found to be inaccurate.

The committee took no action, but plans to meet in the next couple of weeks and is scheduled to present the Alton School Board with an accurate estimated cost of both the proposed renovation and the cost of a new school no later than Oct. 24.

The estimated cost of the renovation of the existing building was presented with a range, but again, those numbers were discovered to be wrong.

The numbers range because of two variables. The cost per square foot of new structures has a range of $150 to $175 per square foot, and the cost per square foot of renovating the existing school has a range of $100 to $150 per square foot.

The committee reviewed the estimated site work costs and the additional soft costs (30 percent).

The estimated cost of the installation of a geothermal heating system and the budget for mechanical equipment was also included in the cost estimate.

The estimate doesn't include several items: the removal of flooring tiles that may or may not contain asbestos, card access to each door, a new elevator to the lower level of the 1972 wing, water storage for irrigation, a solar hot water family of four project area that will be used by the school to teach the students and the removal of additional materials.

Krause also provided an estimate for a new school that could house up to 850 students.

This estimated costs, included an estimated $750,000 to purchase new land.

Members of the committee stressed that were would be several new parts of the school with the renovation, and it shouldn't be looked at as simply a renovation.

Included in the renovation would be the construction of a new gym and two additional levels on a portion of the school to provide additional classroom space.

The committee agreed that many questions couldn't be answered without Krause in attendance to answer them.

Terri Noyes pointed out that that the bond rate is the lowest that it has been in many years, and that now would be a good time to do a renovation.

She questioned if the bond rate was built into the cost estimate and was told that it wasn't because that number can't be determined until the bond is set up.

The board and committee discussed presenting the voters of the town with option to either build a new school or the proposed renovation.

It was pointed out several times that there would be no support coming from the State of New Hampshire on this project, and that the chance of that coming back in the future is highly unlikely.

The committee discussed how to get the word out to members of the community and talked about setting up meetings with people around town in the coming months.

The committee also discussed once again purchasing the Twombly property and using that property for building a new school.

In the past, the school offered $525,000 for the property, but Superintendent Kathy Holt said the cost of the property has been reduced to under $400,000.

On Tuesday, Holt said that the building and grounds committee is planning on meeting in the next two weeks should be presenting an estimated costs to the Alton School Board at its meeting on Monday, Oct. 24, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the ACS music room.

The committee agreed to move out a forum for the community to the first week in November.

Barbara Howard questioned the purchase of the Twombly property and several of the options that the school is looking into for the renovations.

Sheila Rapalje closed the meeting and stressed the importance of making improvements at ACS.

"We feel that the children of Alton need it," Rapalje said. "And we are going to do our very best to give the community the opportunity to vote on it."

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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