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Need is seen for $10 million in repairs

A recent survey of building conditions in the city school district identified $10 million in repairs that would be needed during the next five years to meet the state's standard as satisfactory, architects told the School Board on Tuesday night.

Grant and Gilmore elementary schools would need the most work -- $3 million and $4 million, respectively -- since the buildings were not included as part of the current $48 million capital project, said David M. Varecka, executive vice president of Kideney Architects.

"Six years ago, we had so much scope of work and only [so many] dollars because the mandate was not to increase taxes," Varecka said. "There were an excess of things that still needed to be done. We ran out of money."

The district's bus garage would cost just under $2.5 million to bring it up to the state's standard, and the administration building almost $1 million.

Varecka was quick to point out that "unsatisfactory" does not mean "unsafe."

The district is addressing all imminent safety concerns identified in the last building conditions survey as part of its current capital project.

"If there were things more dire," he said, "something would have to be done with it [promptly]. It's not to that level."

The board will be expected to submit an action plan to the state for how it will address the additional concerns within the next five years, Varecka said.

Once the scope of work for the current project is completed, the firm expects to be about $1.5 million under budget, at which time the board can plan use of the remaining funds for the final phase.

Superintendent Gregory J. Woytila said the board will decide the best use of those funds in the coming months.


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