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Little Compton School Project $600,000 Over Budget, Contractors to Resubmit Bids Today

The Little Compton Town Council announced last week that construction bids to complete the rehabilitation of the Wilbur-McMahon Schools came in $600,000 to $2.6 million over available funds.

 

Contractors must resubmit scaled-down versions of bids for improvement's to Little Compton's Wilbur-McMahon School by today, Oct. 9, after project costs far exceeded available funds, said town officials.

The Town Council announced at last week's meeting that it would re-solicit bids for improvements to the Wilbur-McMahon School after construction bids received came in at $600,000 to $2.6 million over budget.

"The current project is unexecutable with current and anticipated funding," said council President Robert Mushen.

Voters approved the $11.3 million bond in May to build a new roof with a 20 to 30 year life and install modernized infrastructure to the existing building to last 50 years.

At the time of the bond vote, the town was required by the state Department of Education (RIDE) to revise the project scope and budget in less than one week in order to be elgible for eimbursements on health and safety related work. As a result of the time constraints, Mushen said, voters were asked to approve that project budget without testing its figures with actual bids or estimates.

Despite this uncertainty, voters stamped an 87 percent approval rate on the bond. However, the project now required temporary housing pods for students - a cost Mushen said will need $200,000 more than the district has available to spend.

Mushen said contractors are removing various work items on the project not directly related to student health and safety.

"The sound system required in the gymnasium would be one example," said Mushen. "We are required to have one fore health and safety reasons but we have been renting one and it would be with the amortization for saving money being over a number of years."

Mushen said the Town Council would work with the school department to reconfigure bid and ensure necessary improvements would be completed.

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