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HOPEWELL VALLEY: Bid for new roof at high school comes in $800K lower than original $3M estimate

By Frank Mustac, Contributor
A construction company’s bid to replace the roof at the Hopewell Valley Central High School came in at $800,000 below estimate, according to the latest figures provided to the Hopewell Valley Regional Board of Education., Superintendent Thomas Smith spoke about the new roof and other planned capital improvement projects at the high school during a presentation at the board of education meeting Monday evening., Board of Education member Roy Dollard said the original estimate “was in the general neighborhood of $3 million, so we’re 25 percent under, more or less.”, “I don’t know if this is reflective of other things to come, but it’s a heck of a nice start,” Dollard said., The board of education on Monday voted unanimously to approve the roof bid., The projects at Central High School and other work proposed at the five other school buildings in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District are all being funded by a $35 million school facilities bond referendum passed in September by voters in Hopewell Borough, Pennington Borough and Hopewell Township., Smith said that bids also are being prepared for work and repairs for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC), especially at the the high school and Timberlane Middle School., More than $7 million is being allocated for roof replacement and HVAC work., Plans are also moving forward for work at Bear Tavern Elementary School and Toll Gate Grammar School to make playgrounds at the schools accessibility to students with disabilities., “Over the next six months, there will be a lot of work and a lot of things going out to bid,” Smith said. “The work process, the actual construction will take us well into 2018.”, The superintendent also described designs to reconfigure the high school front entrance and offices for handicap accessibility. The new entrance will include a locking vestibule area for increased security. The vestibule is also a space where that student and community artwork will be on display., A new expanded nurse’s suite is also part of the reconfiguration plan., Smith also displayed a design for a 10,500-square-foot arts and wellness addition to the high school that will include a new gymnasium and space for students enrolled in performing arts courses. The addition is estimated to cost $5.2 million., Also under discussion, he said, is traffic flow in front of the high school building, for when students are dropped off or picked up by car., “This has not been solved yet, but I wanted to let everyone know that this is an area that we are actively looking at,” Smith said.

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