Officials confident Colegrove Park Elementary renovation will be complete by January

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Photo Gallery | Colegrove Park Elementary School almost complete

NORTH ADAMS — Though the anticipated completion date has come and gone, school officials are confident that Colegrove Park Elementary School will be ready for students in January.

The $30 million renovation of the former Silvio O. Conte Middle School was expected to reach substantial completion on Nov. 16, but general contractor PDS Engineering and Construction continues to work through the final stages of the project.

The School Building Committee discussed the project's progress at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday and committee members sought assurances that the school would be ready for students after the holiday break.

"We're well on target with that," said North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright.

The historical renovation was originally scheduled to be complete on July 23, but the general contractor and city agreed to extend the construction timeline into November.

"We don't feel that they are complete because of a lot of the things that are outstanding still," said Dorrie Brooks of Jones Whitsett Architects. "They're working quickly, and they're getting there, but it's not there."

Though the architect, project manager, and city have frequently clashed with the project manager over the timetable and other factors, Brooks noted Monday that the project's subcontractors have worked hard and been "super helpful."

The gymnasium and cafeteria have seen substantial progress over the last several weeks, but they remain incomplete. Furniture is being moved into the building and the project architect said at least two floors of the building are substantially complete.

"I think that major stuff is going to fall into place over the next two weeks," Brooks said. "I think within the next week to 10 days we should be very much on completion."

School Building Committee Member Ron Superneau stressed that construction should be complete before the school is opened to students and staff.

"We don't want the kids in the building with any work going on," Superneau said.

The overall project is still on budget, according to owner's project manager, Strategic Building Solutions. There are, however, about $670,000 in outstanding change orders that are awaiting approval from the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

"If we continue at the 83 or 87 percent reimbursement [rate], we're still doing good," Alcombright said.


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