Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ridgewood referendum projects are well under budget.

The Ridgewood News has a story today about Ridgewood schools' construction projects running under budget so far. I'm pasting the full text of the story here because I think it's helpful to see the projects and their status listed:

Despite rough weather this winter, construction projects at Ridgewood schools are moving ahead more or less on schedule and far under budget.

"Bids for the remaining projects continue to come in favorably," reported Superintendent Daniel Fishbein at a Jan. 24 meeting of the Ridgewood Board of Education (BOE).

The BOE approved a purchase bid for window and door replacements at Benjamin Franklin Middle School (BF) at a cost of $528,800, far below the roughly $900,000 budgeted for the project in the original bond referendum.

The referendum, narrowly approved by voters in December 2009, will ultimately encompass $48 million worth of construction projects at district schools. The projected tax increase on the average village home is about $300 per year over the course of the next 25 years to pay off the $38 million bond referendum. The state is contributing another $9.8 million in grants.

Bids from contractors are now being sought for other school projects. Seventeen contractors recently attended a walk-through tour of Willard for its expansion project slated for next year, Fishbein said. More bid dates are coming up in February.

Substantial construction projects are currently under way at Ridge and Hawes elementary schools. At Ridge, construction of a new roof and a new wing has been slowed due to inclement weather, but the roof of Hawes' new wing was installed before the snow and ice storms, so construction has continued without a hitch.

Ridge is still scheduled to fully open for fall 2011, Fishbein said during a tour of the premises. Ridge is receiving five new classrooms; two small group instruction rooms; an art studio; occupational and physical therapy space; mechanical room; storage; and a computer lab.

Travell, Willard and Somerville elementary schools and BF all underwent roofing replacements or improvements. Still to come are full renovations at Willard, though substantial asbestos abatement in a basement crawl space was successfully completed this summer. Willard will also undergo an expansion to add seven classrooms; one small group instruction room; a media center/ library; computer lab; resource room; a nurse's office; and storage.

BF has also received upgrades to its electrical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; repairs of concrete and masonry, stairs and sidewalks; and its athletics fields have undergone significant renovations, including the installation of a new track and field facility for the district.

Ridgewood High School has received site updates to its sidewalks, stairs, external doors and brick and mortar, as well as new lockers and extensive work on its two athletics fields, including the installation of artificial turf. Other renovations include drinking fountains, plumbing, windows and doors, and fire detection systems and alerts.

George Washington Middle School (GW) has completed a new driveway on Washington Street. Plans for GW include an improved electrical system and windows, and expansion that will construct and/or renovate six classrooms, five small group instruction rooms, a media center/library, computer lab and gymnasium, which will take over part of the footprint of the existing field.

Many schools are also receiving occupancy sensor and light controls.

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