Waterproofing oversight will add $21,000 to Colegrove Park Elementary project

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NORTH ADAMS — Unplanned fixes to a leaking gymnasium foundation at Colegrove Park Elementary will cost $21,000, but they won't set back the school's opening.

A 10-foot section of the foundation beneath the gymnasium's north wall was not waterproofed during the $30 million renovation of the former Silvio O. Conte Middle School, city and project officials said at a School Building Committee meeting on Monday.

Although initial estimates reached toward $50,000, officials were able to secure a $21,000 price for repairs to a foundation, which leaked heavily during rains last month. A contractor will re-expose the foundation and waterproof that 10-foot section.

The repairs and what little is left of other on-site work is not expected to delay the planned transfer of students from Sullivan School to Colegrove at the start of the January semester. Teachers will receive boxes this week and are expected to begin moving materials to the new school on Dec. 14 Students will also be able to walk through the building later this month.

Inexplicably, the architectural drawings did not call for waterproofing on the final 10 feet of the north wall of the gymnasium when it was excavated, according to Andy Gentile, of owner's project manager Strategic Building Solutions.

"It was never brought up, and shame on the contractor for not mentioning that and probably shame on us for not recognizing it," Gentile said.

New England Concrete Services on Monday carefully hand dug around the pipes leading to the school's boiler room, which was not damaged by the leaks. The company will put new waterproofing material on the exposed section of the foundation and backfill around it with a special concrete that won't disturb the pipes.

The majority of the $21,000 cost is due to the manual labor required to dig around the pipes and equipment fees, Gentile said.

The project remains on track and on budget, but there remains nearly $670,000 in outstanding change orders that are awaiting approval from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, according to officials. Architect Margo Jones said Monday she expected to issue a certificate of substantial completion imminently.

"I'm actually pretty pleased with how much progress has been done and it really is coming together," Jones said.

Contact Adam Shanks at 413-496-6276.


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