Princeton school district awards renovation contract for buildings

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Princeton school district officials have awarded a $1.5 million contract for security upgrades at the Princeton Public Schools’ four elementary schools.

Shorelands Construction Inc. was awarded the contract at the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education’s Nov. 19 meeting. Bids from two other contractors for the job each topped $2 million.

The project calls for installing new vestibules at the entrance to the Community Park, Johnson Park, Littlebrook and Riverside elementary schools.

The security vestibules are part of the $26.9 million school bond referendum approved by voters in December 2018.

“We are installing new security doors and partitions (at the four elementary schools),” said David Harding, the Princeton Public Schools’ director of facilities.

Visitors will be buzzed in through two sets of doors. It will allow the building monitors to check in visitors. The visitors will be provided with a special badge, ensuring that non-district adults are registered before they are allowed to enter the school building.

In addition to the new security vestibules, Shorelands Construction Inc. will perform some routine maintenance. The contractor will paint door frames at the four elementary schoolos and provide some casework at the Johnson Park School.

The project is expected to be completed before school opens for its 2020-21 school year in September.

At the school board’s Nov. 19 meeting, board member Brian MacDonald reported that two of the three summer projects are being wrapped up.

Electrical upgrades at the four elementary schools is an open project, he said. It is hoped that by spring or early summer, the electrical transformers will be installed and connected to the buildings.

Meanwhile, bid specifications are out on the street for the John Witherspoon Middle School referendum project, MacDonald said.

Renovations at the middle school include conversion of the Academic Conference Center into three flexible classrooms, and renovations to the health office. The plan is for a new bathroom that complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act, a medical room, an exam room and three resting areas.

The John Witherspoon Middle School cafeteria will gain air conditioning, along with 46 classrooms.

All of the work is expected to be done in late spring and summer 2020.

Bid specifications also are out for the installation of air conditioning in the classrooms at the Community Park, Johnson Park and Littlebrook elementary schools. Air conditioning has been installed at the Riverside School.

Contractors have walked through the school buildings “who we hope will bid, and bid aggressively,” MacDonald said.

To ensure that the projects stay on track, the school board has hired a construction management company.

Epic Management Inc. was awarded a contract for $44,200 earlier this year to oversee the work on the assorted projects included in the $26.9 million school bond referendum.

The bond referendum earmarks money for heating ventilation and air conditioning projects, such as adding air conditioning to classrooms at the four elementary school and the middle school, the addition of the security vestibules, and electrical service upgrades.

There will be several upgrades at Princeton High School. The improvements include adding four classrooms, a dining distribution center on the main floor, increased space for athletics and an improved area for student counseling.

The Princeton High School gym also will receive air conditioning.

MacDonald was confident that Epic Management Inc. will make sure that the projects “have a high probability” of staying on track.

“Epic [Management Inc.] has some tools in their toolbox to ensure that contractors are held accountable for meeting intermediate milestones,” MacDonald said.