From windows to roofs to floors, Suzanne M. Henseler Quidnessett Elementary School is in need of maintenance and repairs. With a slew of approvals from the local level to the state needed beforehand, the window to get the work done this summer is closing.
According to Superintendent Phil Auger, school officials are working to make repairs to the school’s problematic roof over the summer. Most of the repairs will be covered by the roof’s warranty, but Auger says the school department is looking to fund the remainder using a recently passed $6.4 million school repair bond. With the cost of replacing the roof at Davisville Middle School coming in far below projects, Auger says that the money saved could be put toward Quidnessett Elementary.
To use the bond funds for the repairs, the project would need a series of approvals – starting with the school committee and town council and on up to the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), which requires a “fully vetted RFP process.” Getting the approvals and bids submitted and approved in time to start and finish the project before school starts up again in the fall may be problematic.
“We’re unsure that we’re going to have the time to do that, to get these approvals and get these bids,” said Auger. “We may be running late, to the point where school wouldn’t be able to start on time.”
According to Director of Administrative Services Mary King, another pivotal issue in the timeline is the property’s water table assessment. School officials would need to ensure that surface water and groundwater in the area won’t penetrate the building.
According to King, the school department has solicited quotes for alternative flooring at the school – ranging from epoxy, polished concrete, tiles and carpeting.
Though the possibility of roof repairs and flooring replacements occurring this summer are still up in the air, the school committee voted to use funds to repair windows at the school. Additionally, Auger said the carpets would receive a “deep cleaning” before the school year begins.
The facilities subcommittee is meeting on July 9 to discuss the matter.