The Bridgehampton School awarded contracts to construction, electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling companies at last Wednesday night’s school board meeting. With state education department approval and building permits already in hand, awarding those contracts was the final major step the district needed to take before construction can begin on a renovated and expanded school building.
“We want to get a construction fence up the first week in November and start breaking ground. That’s the plan,” John M. Grillo, the school district’s Port Jefferson-based architect, told the board of education on Wednesday.
The bulk of the work, an $18.54 million contract, was awarded to Stalco Construction Inc., a New York City general contractor with a Long Island office in Islandia. Stalco was listed in 2015 as the 97th-largest construction firm in the United States by the trade publication Building Design and Construction. It recently completed public library projects in Elmhurst and Port Washington.
Bridgehampton granted a $1.16 million plumbing contract to Ronkonkoma-based Ambrosio and Company, Inc. and a $1.974 million electrical contract to Palace Electrical Contractors of Wantagh. The district also gave an approximately $3.4 million contract to Central Air Heating and Cooling of Roslyn Heights.
Bridgehampton School superintendent Robert Hauser said they were the lowest and most responsible bidders.
The Bridgehampton School’s $24.7 million expansion and renovation project was originally approved in December of 2016, but school officials ran into trouble earlier this year when two rounds of construction proposals collectively came in over budget. In September, the district sought more money in the form of an additional $4.74 million bond from the community, which was approved by a small margin of voters.
Including soft costs such as engineering and architectural fees, the district now has approximately $29.44 million to work with for its overhaul, which will see more than 35,000 square feet of new space and many modern amenities added to the existing historic school building on Montauk Highway.
Bidding this time around also included quite a few “alternate” projects that had been separated from the original proposal as a potential cost-saving measure. Most of them will now be incorporated into the project. Among them are a second floor to the school library, rooftop solar panels, a new parking lot, motorized shades for skylights and decorative transom windows above the doors throughout the building.
The total of the four contracts to be awarded Wednesday equals $25,073,295, leaving about $1.8 million for unexpected expenses should they pop up.
“There’s some tables and chairs we’ll have to buy,” Mr. Grillo said. “We don’t know what we’re going to find as we start to excavate and open up these walls. Are the tennis courts going to hold up over two years as we’re driving trucks back and forth? It’s going to be nice to have kind of this nice safety net.”
Board president Ron White inquired about adding a security vestibule to the front entrance, which Mr. Hauser said would be addressed separately.
Board member Mark Verzosa raised concerns about the student pickup and drop off procedure before and after school each day, calling it a messy process. Board member Jennifer Vinski suggested incorporating a road behind the school into the drop-off and pick up protocol as a potential solution.
Mr. Grillo said his civil engineer is looking at the situation, and that “we’ll talk to the Town of Southampton to see if we can partner up.”