Upper Freehold maps out renovation plans

School district officials meet with construction management firm to create schedule.

By: Mark Moffa
   UPPER FREEHOLD — The Board of Education last week met with its construction management firm and hashed out a schedule for completion of its $19.6 million project to expand and renovate Allentown High School and the elementary/middle school annex building.
   Superintendent Robert Connelly said the board hired the New Road Construction Management Co. of Cherry Hill to supervise the project. The firm will be paid $308,250 for its services.
   Dr. Connelly said a district administrative team, some board members, and architect Dave Fraytak last week determined four aspects of the construction project will go out to bid this month.
   The district will accept separate proposals from contractors for the replacement of windows on the elementary/middle school, new lockers at the high school, new roofs on both schools, and new seats and a new floor for the high school auditorium.
   All four of these projects are scheduled to be done over the summer and completed by September.
   A fifth project — involving a new track, more bleachers, and associated drainage and irrigation work — will go out to bid next month, Dr. Connelly said, although this will not be finished by September.
   "We’ll have to do it in a way that we can still run the football program and yet still get the track ready for the spring," he said.
   He said officials are developing detailed construction documents for the bulk of the project, the additions to the high school and annex building. These should be ready to go out to bid in late July with construction to begin in November, Dr. Connelly said.
   The additions should be almost complete by December 2003, but the district will need some additional classrooms by September 2003, he said.
   This fall, he said, the district will have to usurp classrooms being used for gifted-and-talented and Spanish classes to make room for two new second-grade classes needed due to enrollment growth.
   "We can make those modifications next (school) year," Dr. Connelly said. "But we will definitely be totally out of space by September 2003."
   New Road, the construction management firm, is assigned the task of keeping the project on schedule. The company’s president, Scott Weitz; a director of project management, Bob Davis; and a project manager, Henry Goldsmith will work for the school district.
   The company said it will assist the project through the pre-construction, bidding, construction, and closeout phases.
   The firm promised to monitor the construction design, budget, and schedule. Its proposal claimed the company will help with contract negotiations and awarding contracts.
   For the construction phase, New Road supplied a list of 26 services it will provide. These include assuring contractors follow project specifications, making sure contractors use the proper materials and equipment, and supplying progress reports to the school district.
   As for post-construction services, New Road stated it will help with coordinating a punch list of work yet to be completed and obtaining certificates of occupancy.