2015-07-30 / Front Page

Projects Proceed at Rogers

By Barry Bridges

With approximately five weeks remaining before the start of the new academic year on Sept. 8, school officials have been working to solidify several construction and maintenance projects that are on tap at Rogers High School.

Progress is slowly being made on the most ambitious of the items on the list: the long-needed roof replacement at Rogers that found financing when voters in November agreed to issue bonds to pay for needed building repairs at several municipal properties.

As the effort begins to get off the ground, members of the Newport School Committee’s Facilities Subcommittee are examining nine bids that were submitted in response to a request for proposals for architectural services. The RFP process was informed by a comprehensive roof analysis by The Garland Co., Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio, which describes the roof at Rogers as having “surpassed it serviceable life cycle and has failed” and recommends replacing areas that total almost 112,000 square feet.

“We are currently reviewing the bids and will be meeting with [Newport Director of Public Services] Bill Riccio on Monday, Aug. 3, to have telephone interviews with the four top picks,” said subcommittee head David C. Hanos. There was a wide difference in the figures submitted, with costs ranging from $40,000 to $195,000. Hanos told Newport This Week that some of the bids were more thorough than others, making it imperative to closely review each proposal for an apples-to-apples comparison to ensure that all specifications are included. The contract with the chosen firm will have to be endorsed by the full School Committee and the City Council.

The architectural design for the new roof will set the stage for a second RFP for the actual construction that will be posted later. As for a timeline of when work might begin, Hanos said, “Although the replacement is long overdue, I foresee the bulk of the effort happening next summer. It would be much less disruptive to undertake a project of this nature when school is not in session.”

Meanwhile, the committee has approved several contracts for capital improvements at the Newport Area Career & Technical Center (NACTC). At a special meeting on Thursday, July 23, members gave the OK for a new $30,000 wheel alignment rack for the automotive technology program, as well as for a separate purchase that will provide new equipment and associated plumbing and electrical improvements for students in the popular cosmetology curriculum. These upgrades are scheduled for completion prior to the first day of classes. “We want NACTC to be in the best shape possible before students arrive,” said Superintendent Colleen Jermain.

A new paint job for the automotive shop may have to wait, however. Not satisfied with the bid responses previously received, the committee decided to re-post the opportunity to solicit additional offers from qualified vendors. Because of the uncertainty created by having to re-advertise, and with unanswered questions on how long the painting will take to complete, the work may have to be delayed until the December break.

Committee members also made the final arrangements to secure a new 14-passenger multi-functional bus for use by NACTC, courtesy of a $45,000 grant from the Mc- Bean Charitable Trust. Although available to all students, it will be especially useful for carpentry students who often travel to outside sites as part of their program.

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