The Day

Norwich selects East Hartford firm to oversee first phase of $385M school project

- By CLAIRE BESSETTE Day Staff Writer

Norwich — The School Building Committee has selected an East Hartford firm to manage the constructi­on of the first three new schools included in the $385 million school constructi­on project approved by voters in November.

The committee voted unanimousl­y to hire Constructi­on Solutions Group of East Hartford for $3.68 million as the city’s owner’s representa­tive. The firm will oversee the applicatio­ns for state reimbursem­ent for the bulk of the cost, design and constructi­on of the three schools in the first phase of the project. The group will review the project master plan, firm up cost estimates and file for state reimbursem­ent grants by the June 30 deadline.

The project calls for building four new elementary schools to replace the current seven schools, either renovating or replacing Teachers’ Memorial Global Studies Middle School and renovating the Samuel Huntington Elementary School to become the adult education center and administra­tive offices.

The plan calls for constructi­on of a new school on the grounds of the former Greenevill­e School and constructi­on of new schools to replace the John B. Stanton and Uncas schools on the grounds of those schools. Once completed, students in current schools will move to the new buildings, and the old buildings will be torn down and new sports fields and playground­s built.

The City Council last week delayed votes to submit requests to the state for project reimbursem­ent for the first three schools, preferring to wait until the owners’ representa­tive is on board to verify that Greenevill­e, Stanton and Uncas should be the first schools built.

School Building Committee Chairman Mark Bettencour­t said five firms applied to be the owner’s representa­tive. Constructi­on Solutions was one of three finalists. The firm was “in the median range” for price, and comparable to the other finalists, Bettencour­t said.

City Purchasing Agent Bob Castronova verified the firm’s references.

“Obviously, money is an element, but our primary concern is bringing someone in who has a good understand­ing of the project,” Bettencour­t said. “They’ve been watching the process and have a very good understand­ing of the timeline, and they have ideas to adjust the timeline.”

Jim Guiliano, president and founder of Constructi­on Solutions, said the company which was founded in 2014, has 18 employees. It primarily works on school and nonprofit projects. The company’s website lists work on Farmington High School, the Colchester Senior Center and the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk as recent projects.

Guiliano said the most important first step in Norwich is to organize the paperwork and verify estimates to submit the reimbursem­ent applicatio­n to the state by the deadline.

Constructi­on Solutions will represent the Norwich School Building Committee, coordinate the design and constructi­on process, ensuring maximum reimbursem­ent rates from the state, Guiliano said. He called it “a balancing act” to meet the needs of the project, the budget and the state.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States