During the Jan. 8 presentation, Sicignano showed the school board dozens of pictures he had taken — out of a total of more than 200 pictures of facility issues and damages — and explained all the needed repairs and upgrades to both buildings. Many of the issues have been caused by masonry cracks, created shortly after original construction from the settling of the buildings, he said. These cracks have led to extensive leaking and moisture damage to windows, ceilings, walls and floors throughout both buildings.
Many of the ceiling and floor tiles in both buildings also are coated with or made in part of asbestos, which would have to be addressed anyway, but the leaking and concomitant damage to these tiles makes the issue even more necessary, he said. Likewise, many sections of the building roofs are more than 25 years-old and in need of repair, and, being above asbestos-coated ceilings, if they were to collapse into the building, “you would have to close the whole building” because of the health hazard, Sicignano said.
“All of this [asbestos] has to be gotten rid of [and] has to be fixed before anything else is done,” he said.
Among the numerous photos shown, the middle school gymnasium and locker rooms showed dilapidated and outdated lockers, wall cracks and water damage, worn out gym floors, and a shower room section where the floor settled at least two inches creating a huge gap between wall and floor.
“The plan is to take this gym out and rebuild it completely,” Sicignano said. “That’s really all that can be done.
Like the gym locker rooms, the schools’ hallway lockers are all simply outdated and completely worn out, and many of the classrooms’ furniture and chalkboards are “antiquated” beyond their useful lives, Sicignano said.
The presentation to the school board was focused on the facilities’ issues and the work to be completed and not on the specific financials of the project, which will be discussed at the board’s Jan. 22 meeting, Bates said. He did give a brief overview of the preliminary project budget, which totaled $19,523,027, although he said that will change as the architects and financial advisors come on board the project, and, he said, the number will almost certainly grow due to inflation.