MMS roof replacement may go up for bid soon

Michelle Warren, The Chronicle, Willimantic, Conn.
·4 min read

Feb. 23—MANSFIELD — Awaiting final approval from the state, school officials are hopeful the Mansfield Middle School roof replacement/ photovoltaic installation project is still on track.

The plan is for it to go out to bid in March and for construction to begin in June.

During their Feb. 8 meeting, town council members approved two resolutions that will be submitted to the state as part of the town's applications for state reimbursement.

Both resolutions were approved by 9-0 votes.

The resolutions are designed to provide clarifying language about the photovoltaic project, as requested by the state Office of School Construction Grants & Review.

" They are awarding us two project numbers, even though it is a single project," Mansfield Superintendent of Schools Kelly Lyman said during the Feb. 11 board of education meeting.

She said all paperwork had been submitted to the state following the council's adoption of the two resolutions.

Mansfield Mayor Antonia Moran, who is a member of the building committee, said at the Feb. 8 town council meeting the two resolutions have been approved by bond counsel.

" I would strongly recommend that no attempt be made to amend them because that would get us into a whole can of worms regarding legality," she said. One of the resolutions clarifies the Mansfield Middle School Roof Building Committee is authorized to serve as the building committee for the installation of a photovoltaic system on the roof. The other resolution authorizes the appropriation for $ 2.8 million for the roof replacement and installation of a photovoltaic system on the roof and the issuance of bonds and notes to fund those jobs.

Taxpayers approved the $ 2.8 million project at a referendum on Election Day last November.

Moran said the building committee

MMS ROOF, Page 4

They are awarding us two project numbers, even though it is a single project.

Kelly Lyman

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MMS roof plan may go up for bid soon

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claims the cost of the project will come in " much lower" than $ 2.8 million.

Of that amount, $2,112,684 is for the roof replacement and $644,636 is for the photovoltaic system, with other costs such as contingency funds included.

The roof has exceeded its 20- year warranty by more than a decade.

There have been leaks and the roof has been patched many times.

The district will see energy savings several years after a 122- kilowatt photovoltaic system is installed.

During the board of education meeting, Lyman said while the district is combining the two projects, they are applying for state reimbursement for each project separately to maximize reimbursement.

She said the state started allowing photovoltaic systems to be included in roof replacement projects about one year ago.

However, Lyman said the state stipulated the photovoltaic portion of the project meet its formula, which is based on square footage and student enrollment, to qualify for the maximum reimbursement rate.

Lyman said because Mansfield would not qualify for full reimbursement rate through that approach, it was recommended the district submit two separate projects.

" By doing it that way, we're going to receive the full reimbursement rate," she said. " It has complicated this project, I will tell you, but the dollar value in the end will be worth it."

Lyman said Tuesday the district has not been notified of the final reimbursement rates, but is expecting each to be around 70 percent.

As of Monday, the district had received a " project number" for the roof replacement aspect of the project, but was awaiting a project number for the photovoltaic portion of the project.

Once that is received, Lyman said a meeting will be scheduled between state and school officials to review the paperwork.

" We're still hoping that sometime in the month of March we can go out to bid, but it will take a couple of weeks to get an appointment with the state and get that final approval process going," she said during the board of education meeting.

" I'm still hopeful that we're going to be on track for a late June start on this project, but we really need the state to move quickly."

Follow Michelle Warren on Twitter — @mwarrentc.