South awards construction contracts

The work represents the first major improvements since the school was built in 1959.

By: Linda Seida
   WEST AMWELL — The South Hunterdon Regional High School Board of Education recently awarded five contracts for new construction and upgrades to the building.
   The work represents the first major improvements since the school was built in 1959.
   Substantial completion of the new construction, including a new auditorium, media center and middle school gym, is expected by spring 2008, Superintendent Lisa Brady said.
   The anticipated completion date for renovations to other parts of the building is by September. The science classrooms, for example, will undergo renovation this summer. But they probably won’t be finished until the end of September, Ms. Brady said.
   In the meantime, "It looks like Home Depot High," Ms. Brady said. "It’s going to be grin and bear it for most of the next year. It will take perseverance on everyone’s part. This is an expansive building project. The inconveniences will begin to escalate."
   Voters approved the $20.8 million construction and renovation project by referendum in 2005.
   Officials had planned an aggressive construction schedule for the school that houses about 350 students in grades 7-12, but delays occurred that pushed back the completion date.
   First, the school had thought a review of the project by township building officials would be sufficient, but that wasn’t the case. The school had to seek approval from the state, and that added almost two months to the timeline, Ms. Brady said.
   "We didn’t know all of this up front and were hopeful for a local review," she said.
   Also adding to the delay were some preliminary changes and modifications to the architect’s drawings, Ms. Brady said.
   The board approved the following contracts April 12:
   Simon & Riggs Mechanical Contractors Inc. of Audubon will be paid $1.54 million for plumbing and fire protection.
   B&B Iron Works Inc. of Irvington will receive $907,513 for structural steel and ornamental ironwork.
   Sunnyfield Corp. of Eatontown will be paid $3,391,500 for heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and equipment.
   Dayspring Electric Inc. of Richboro, Pa., will be paid $2,724,575 for electrical work.
   Dandrea Construction Co. Inc. of Berlin will receive $8,246,900 for general construction.