District Awards Bid For Morris Avenue School Modernization Project

School will be closed this summer for construction


The Long Branch School District has found a company to handle the large construction project that will occur at Morris Avenue School this summer.

The district is looking to give the school's exterior a more modern design and hired McCauley Construction Company Inc. to do the job during Wednesday night's Board of Education meeting.

Long Branch Superintendent Michael Salvatore said the building, which was designed in the 1970s, features open air pod-style classrooms for children from pre-K to second that will be converted to self-contained classrooms this summer. The current design has four pods that contain four classrooms each and the pods are separated by dividers.

Salvatore said that configuration, which was created in the 1970s, is not used in any of the district's other buildings.

"The school does not have standard walls," Salvatore said during last night's meeting. "We will be adding walls and a drop ceiling."

Salvatore has said the school took money aside from its increase in state aid last year and has $700,000 available to renovate the school.

The total cost of the bid awarded to McCauley is $607,500 and includes:

• Temporary classroom renovations: $570,000

• Painting of exposed classroom pod and library brick walls: $8,500

• Painting of all library soffets and wall surfaces above brick walls to top of clerestory windows: $3,000

• Paint all exposed structure and wall surfaces above the top of the clerestory windows: $8,000

• Laminate rooms with GWB (gypsum wall board): $18,000

All these upgrades are expected to begin when the school year ends and finish before the first day of the 2012-13 school year.

Salvatore said the school also received a package from McCauley that included exterior upgrades for the school for $280,000. There were also options for the replacement of concrete around the flagpole and the replacement of the concrete sidewalk along Morris Avenue for $3,000 and $65,000, respectively.

Salvatore said the exterior upgrades will not be done this summer, but "will happen in the next few years."

Salvatore has said he would like to keep the building's exterior features the same because it creates revenue for the school. Solar panels were placed on the top of the building's flat roof last year, and that design allows the panels to absorb more sun which helps the district cut its electric costs and create solar renewable energy credits, which could generate money for the schools.

"We have solar all over the roof and its become a great revenue building," Salvatore has said.


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