The final touches should be completed on the expansion project in about a month, bringing the $33 million construction project to a close.
The Public Building and Site Commission met Tuesday with Rick Rapice, a representative of the Fletcher Thompson architectural firm, to go over the punch list of last-minute work that still must be done.
Commission Chairman Robert Mitchell said the work that still needs to be done includes installing replacement hardware on some of the fire doors in the building, painting, a few minor roof leaks and a .
Another important task is to finish compiling the paperwork for the town to submit for state reimbursement of between $8 million and $9 million of the construction costs.
The commission had wanted to finish construction by , which was also Tuesday, but was not successful.
But Mitchell noted the commission was successful at holding down the project’s cost, and will complete it about $1.2 million under budget. And when the state reimbursement funds are received, amounting to about 38 percent of the total cost, the town will use it to reduce the long-term financing debt.
The project began in 2008, but was delayed when bids received during the height of the financial crisis were deemed unreliable.
Mitchell said the commission redesigned the project, cutting about $6 million from the projected cost, and the second round of bids were much more favorable to the town.
Construction started in 2009, with the commission keeping tight control of change orders. Mitchell said the total cost of change orders amounted to about $1.5 million, which is less than 5 percent of the total cost, a very modest proportion for such a large project, he said.
The expansion added a new wing on the school, with new classrooms, science labs and culinary arts facilities, improvements to the infrastructure and parking areas, artificial turf and other improvements to the athletic fields, and a new gymnasium with a higher ceiling that meets the state standards for holding sports tournaments.