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State to help pay for Northfield schools repairs


Greenfield Recorder 10/08/2011, Page C01


Recorder Staff

NORTHFIELD — Three school repair projects will move forward, with help from grants approved by the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

The MSBA recently approved Green Repair grants for the windows and roof of Northfield Elementary School, and the heating system at Pioneer Valley Regional School. The Green Repair program reimburses schools for about 56 percent of the cost of eligible work. One of the criteria is that the repairs must improve the building’s energy efficiency.

The district gave a high-end estimate of $312,670 for the elementary school projects, and the MSBA reduced that amount to $299,670, translating to a maximum reimbursement of $168,594.

An estimate of $424,356 was given for the Pioneer project, of which $407,786 was approved by the MSBA, for a maximum $229,420 reimbursement.

If project costs are more than the MSBA’s estimate, the district would be responsible for making up the difference.

The district hopes to put the projects out to bid by the end of the month, according to Superintendent Dayle Doiron.

To apply for the grants, project engineering had to be 60 percent finished. Doiron said that plans for the elementary school repairs were nearly completed when the School Building Subcommittee met Tuesday, and final input was being sought. She expects engineering for the Pioneer project to be ready for review by the subcommittee’s next meeting, at 2 p.m. Oct. 20.

“Our hope is that the actual work for the roof and windows (at the elementary school) could be completed this fall. It’s a fairly short-term project,” said Doiron. She said scheduling for work at Pioneer is more uncertain, as certain parts must be custom-made for the job, and issues with material availability could arise as the heating industry moves into its busy winter season.

That project involves the replacement of one of the school’s two boilers, as well as repairs to other components of the building’s heating system.

Interested contractors are invited to a site visit for the elementary project, which will follow the next subcommittee meeting.

David Rainville can be reached at:drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 279