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School board approves adjustment in contract

FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education has authorized a $98,351 increase in the contract for the district’s expansion and renovation project at one of its facilities.

On Jan. 7, board members approved the change order in a contract with Newport Construction for additions and alterations at the Freehold Learning Center elementary school, Dutch Lane.

The $98,351 increase is the sixth change order approved by the board. Following the approval of the six change orders, the original $8.39 million contract now totals $9.13 million.

All six change orders are related to the replacement of soil with stone at the location of the additions. According to the resolution approving the sixth change order, samples taken at the Freehold Learning Center site revealed soil in certain areas with a saturation content unsuitable for the placement of a building pad and foundation.

When the issue was revealed to and assessed by district administrators in December 2017, the construction manager, contractor, architect, structural engineer and geotechnical engineer determined it was necessary for a soil observer from the geotechnical engineer’s firm to oversee the removal and replacement of saturated soil with stone, according to the resolution.

The sixth change order, according to the resolution, is in connection with unit pricing work for soils and inspections, labor and material for remediation of paving, and for labor and material to provide paving-reinforcing fabric to five areas.

The board’s approval of the sixth change order follows the completion of a $33 million construction project to expand the district’s two facilities: the Freehold Learning Center and the Park Avenue Complex, Park Avenue, which houses the Park Avenue Elementary School and the Freehold Intermediate School. A ceremony to recognize the completion of the project was held on Dec. 4, 2018.

In other business, board members accepted an estimated $6,000 proposal from William Hopkins, the district’s architect, for the design and specifications for the partial replacement of existing duct work at the Freehold Learning Center.

According to district administrators, the total project cost is estimated at $83,000 and includes duct work replacement, demolition and removal, contingency and other soft costs. The board approved a capital reserve withdrawal of up to $83,000 for the project.

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