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Phase II of Potsdam capital project expected to cost roughly $13.6 million

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POTSDAM - Now that roof work at the high school and work on the crawl space in the elementary school is complete, it’s time for the Potsdam Central School District to shift its focus to phase II of its capital project.

“We have completed phase I very successfully, and we are now preparing for phase II,” said Superintendent Patrick H. Brady. “The work they are doing now is to prepare for bidding, which will happen in the spring.”

Todd LaBarr, of Watchdog Building Partners, the firm overseeing the project for the district, said estimates have phase II checking in at $13,607,691. That figure, he said, includes $11.9 million for construction, as well as additional monies for contingency and inflation.

When that figure is added to the $1.9 million spent on phase I of the project, Mr. LaBarr said the district should have roughly $500,000 left at the completion of Phase II, with some give or take based on how bids for the next phase of the project turn out.

“We need to identify some alternates,” he said. “We will help the district maximize its buying power.”

SEI Design Group Project Manager Matt Schools said that one alternative already expected is new seating for the auditorium. Upgrades to the auditorium already budgeted for the project include lighting upgrades, as well as improvements to the stage.

Highlights of the other work to be done at the high school includes lighting upgrades and ceiling replacement, emergency lighting and, if necessary, asbestos abatement. The major part of the project though is converting the original building from a steam heating system to a hot water system. Masonry repairs will also be made to the outside of the building, which will also undergo a face lift.

“It will ultimately be a different looking building than it is now,” Mr. Schools said, adding the project also includes bathroom and kitchen renovations.

Work at the middle school will include lighting upgrades, as well as ceiling replacement and upgrades to the building’s electrical system.

The ceiling and lighting work will be challenging, he said.

“This building specifically has ceiling issues,” Mr. Schools said. “They are not drop ceilings like you typically see in a school building.”

Other improvements include upgrading the building’s locks, ventilations system door replacements, kitchen upgrades and repaving the building’s sidewalks and parking lots.

The repaving, he said, will also include work at the bus garage, which is located adjacent to the middle school.

At the elementary school work is scheduled to include lighting upgrades, ceiling replacement, repairs to the rear sidewalk, installation of security cameras, renovations to the playground, additional renovations to the crawl space, kitchen upgrades and the reconfiguring of office space.

Work will also include the removal of old carpets, which will be replaced with vinyl flooring, and the removal of asbestos flooring.

District-wide work is scheduled to include a new fire alarm system, as well as secure entrances for each of the buildings and other security upgrades.

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