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How Will The Town Pay For The Millions Berlin High School Project Is Over Budget?

According to latest estimates high school project is $14,234,987 over budget. That number could grow as well.

 

The latest report from the Town of Berlin says that the estimate for the Berlin High School project is $14,234,987 over budget at this point.

Phase I work has begun on the east side of the school, where a building will be constructed to allow for swing space. That swing space will allow students to be moved from their regular classrooms to the new building so that laborers may start work on other parts of the school. This will be crucial when phasing the project.

Despite the large discrepancy between the $69.5 million approved at budget referendum and the current cost estimates of more than $84 million, Mayor Adam Salina is confident the town and Town Council will not have to go back to the town for more money to complete the project.

"We are looking at a lot of school projects and we are seeing that very few come in at or under budget," Salina said. "What we are doing right now is looking for additional assistance from the state and there is some potential that we may qualify for some waivers. There are remedies available and at this point, we can't afford for this project to fail."

Berlin Patch detailed the long and bumpy road the high school renovation project has gone through to get to this point.

"I am still very optimistic that we can get this done without going back out to the public and taxpayers."

Salina said he was ecstatic to see work being done at the school.

"Once I saw that they began work I went and put a shovel in the ground myself and moved some dirt around to make sure it was real," Salina said. "This process started in 2006. It has been a long process and a frustrating process but to see some things finally being done at the school was a positive step.

"We won't know how the bids are going to come in until we open them. Once we do that and we see where they are at we can get on the lists we need to be on to see if we qualify for additional state funding. We need the hard numbers first and we don't have them yet."

Here are some of the highlights of what has happened lately and what will happen going forward.

  • The team returned with plans to the State for the follow-up Plan Completion Test (PCT) on February 6 and 7. The State accepted the plans and they were delivered to Chris Laux to perform the local review.
  • Work on Phase 1 has progressed with most of the site utilities completed or in progress and foundation work in progress.

30 Day Look Ahead:

  • Return to the State with local review comments and authorization to go out to bid Phase 2.
  • Going out to bid on Phase 2 before the end of March.
  • Substantial completion of foundations for the new Phase 1 Tech Ed Building.

Critical Issues:

  • Completion of Local Review process and return to the State.
  • Authorization by the State to go out to bid Phase 2.

Budget:

  • Referendum Approved Budget: $69,950,000
  • Estimated total project cost based on January 8th PCT documents is $84,184,987
  • Final budget to be determined after receipt of Phase 2 bids.
MariaD March 08, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Good Morning - when the referendum passed, both my husband and I thought it was highly optimistic that this project would come in within budget. I certainly hope that Mayor Salina's additional sources of funding come to pass. If not, then choices will need to be made as what to eliminate or to substiture with less costly alternatives, not unlike projects we all undertake in our homes.
ChudS March 08, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Well said MariaD. I couldn't agree with you more.
Robert J. Peters March 08, 2013 at 03:41 PM
after the bids are in anf if they show the project is still over budgeted, it should and must go back to the citizens for a vote, that's what this government is all about. The State nor Council have the right to overrule the people. Bob P.
Mary Ellen Maloney March 08, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Unfortunately the project has already been skimmed back dramatically, primarily because of the costly errors of Silver and Petrucelli. It is very dispappointing that we were hoping for a Cadillac and now we will be lucky to get a Pinto.
Henry mailhot March 08, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Well put Mary Ellen, but at this point we would be lucky to end up with a Yugo. This prodject should never have been started with the many questions never answered and the early questions of a budjet overrun. With the State of Ct present budjet problems we would be nieve to think we would get more mony from the state and if we did it would not come close to covering the overrun.
James March 09, 2013 at 05:12 AM
The worst planners, managers,and negotiators ever. If these town employees who worked on this fiasco worked in the real world they would be fired. Who didn't see this coming? Now they are going to buy that dilapidated eyesore building on Farmington Ave to sink more town tax money into another bum steer.

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