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NHS Auditorium Project Update: Construction To Start In January

Published: October 21, 2016

Service Project Manager Geralyn Hoerauf of STV|DPM attended the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, October 18, in the Municipal Center, 3 Primrose Street, to update everyone on the status of the Newtown High School auditorium renovation.

Ms Hoerauf last spoke to the group on September 20 to request the approval of the construction documents package cost estimate.

“Directly after that,” Ms Hoerauf said, “the architects submitted the construction documents package to the local building department.”

The state requires local officials sign off on paperwork saying that it complies with all the building codes. A permit will then be issued upon application. The package that was brought to the building department was the final construction documents and the reports from a third-party co-reviewer.

“We did not receive their approval until October 4,” Ms Hoerauf continued. This delayed their meeting for the next review, because the timing brought conflicts with vacation schedules.

The date for her company’s upcoming prebid performance review meeting will be on Tuesday, October 25.

Her hope is that immediately after that review, they will be issued an authorization to go out to bid, around November 2, to continue on with the project. There will be about a three-week bid period, with bids due on November 28. The project team will then need a week to ten days to level the bids. A special meeting with the Public Building and Sites Commission would possibly be in early December.

“I anticipate that we will be mobilizing construction during the holiday break,” said Ms Hoerauf. Mobilizing will entail setting up a trailer, installing temporary facilities, and ideally starting the heavy demolition.

Currently, the NHS auditorium is not in use after being disassembled in July in preparation for the renovations.
Ms Hoerauf clarified that as of now the projected timeline of the auditorium will consist of starting the construction in January and, with an estimated six months of work, leading to its completion in June.

Board of Education member Andrew Clure asked what would be done with the existing seats in the auditorium, to which Ms Hoerauf explained that her and her group have made efforts to find a use for them. Unless there are volunteers willing to take the seats there is not much more they can do, but she assured they would assist in the effort of carefully removing the chairs if people wish to use them in the future.

Another question that was raised was from Board of Education member Debbie Leidlein, who asked how the mobilization phase will impact the school.

“We had a meeting about two weeks ago with the school facilities, staff, security, and the contractor,” said Ms Hoerauf.

The decision was made that the trailer would be set up directly behind the theater in the small section of staff parking spaces. Those affected by it will have their spots relocated elsewhere on campus. A dumpster will be fenced off and located outside the back door of the auditorium. In addition, contractor parking will be provided in the parking lot by the ball fields.

She added, “The proposal for where to locate the trailer and all the outside areas was developed directly by the facilities staff at the high school and was presented to the construction team.”

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