WATERTOWN — The Board of Education, meeting Monday, January 11, received a capital improvement update from Gino Faiella, facilities director.
He described roofing and flooring projects at John Trumbull Primary School, artificial turf and roofing at Swift Middle School, and artificial turn, track, and roofing projects at Watertown High School.
Mr. Faiella outlined roofing options that ranged from under $500,000 to $3 million for the primary school.
As he outlined a two to three year, phased approach for flooring there, the board asked if hazardous materials would be an issue.
He responded that the building was constructed less than 20 years ago and he is not worried about asbestos.
Regarding the middle school, Mr. Faiella said the roof had been installed in 2008 and needs a good cleaning but he looked ahead to propose restoration, retrofit, and replacement options that the board should consider in the future.
He said that maintaining the roof would extend the life of the existing roof but advised the board to include this project in its capital plan.
Mr. Faiella estimated $400,000 to remove and replace the artificial turf at Swift Middle School, noting that the existing surface tested poorly. “It’s pretty much done.”
He recommended replacement within the next year or two.
Chair Leslie Crotty promised that all board members would receive copies of the testing results.
Pointing out the existence of wet insulation at the high school, Mr. Faiella said there is water between the steel deck and membrane before he presented retrofit and replacement options. The range of expense is from $2.9 million to $4.1 million.
He explained that the building would need to meet code in order to qualify for state reimbursement and the estimate does not include crane work or modifications to mechanical, electrical, or plumbing modifications.
Board members followed up with questions regarding mold and possible remediation.
Mr. Faiella responded that, in his experience, insulation is sandwiched between membranes and he does not expect there to be a health issue. “It’s pretty much staying outside the building.”
He said a power washing with bleach should remove any trace of mold that might exist.
“The [high school] track is 20 years old.” He described cracks that are reflecting through the surface and recommended against resurfacing the track, instead advocating for removing the track down to the asphalt at $410,000 and replacing the turf at the high school for $550,000.
He summarized the total costs as ranging from $6.7 to $12.9 million, pointing to the high school roof and track as the most urgently needed projects.
Ms. Crotty said that bonding would be used to fund projects as there is no fund for capital projects. She expects the board to discuss these matters in future meetings.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the removal of a late opening day for professional learning on February 17, 2021 from the Watertown Public Schools District Calendar
Dr. Janet Parlato, interim superintendent, explained there was an early release planned for the same day and it would not make sense to keep both adjustments to the schedule.
School will start at the regular time on February 17 with an early release for students.
The board went into executive session to discuss the working agreement between the Watertown Board of Education and the Watertown Education Association and to discuss the contract for the Superintendent of Schools.
Coming out of executive session, the board approved the working agreement with a wage increase of 8.5 percent over the three-year period from September 2021 to August 2024.
The board also unanimously approved a contract with incoming superintendent Dr. Alison Villanueva from January 25, 2021 through June 30, 2023, with an annual salary of $195,000.