LITTLE COMPTON — In a sequence of regular and special meetings, Little Compton’s School Committee took action last week and this to start site work on the Peckham Lot in preparation for the installation of two 7o foot-long modular temporary classroom. The classrooms will house the 275 students enrolled in Wilbur & McMahon School, soon to be under renovation.
“I don’t know when the work will start,” said School Committee Chairman Donald Gomez. “It was supposed to be this week,” he said (the week of Nov. 19).
Assuming the start of site work this week as hoped for, Mr. Gomez said students classroom materials can be expected (“we’re shooting for it”) to move from the Wilbur & McMahon building into the modulars classrooms over the holidays. “It’s a little flexible,” he said.
The pieces didn’t fall into place all at once.
At its regular meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14, the school committee swore in and seated its two newly elected members — Tom Allder (1,023 votes) and Peg Bugara (896 votes).
The two replaced Lynn Brousseau LeBreaux (804 votes) and Micah Shapiro (849 votes), both of whom lost their bids for re-election on Nov. 6.
Because it hadn’t been properly noticed on the agenda, School Committee Chairman Donald Gomez said, the reorganization of the school committee — including the election of its new chairman and vice-chairman and other new officers — could not take place at the Nov. 14 meeting, but instead will be scheduled for the regular meeting on Dec. 12.
However, by unanimous vote on Nov. 14, Chairman Gomez said, the school committee, with new members voting, did decide formally to abandon the idea of using one or two local churches to house some of the students during the year or so the renovation will be underway.
Instead, the new school committee, by separate vote at the Nov. 14 meeting, decided to proceed with the installation of two modules on the Peckham Lot.
Although that decision has cost implications still being negotiated with the two main site and electrical contractors, the total cost for the whole modular package is in the range of $1,037,427.
That figure includes $167,000 that Mr. Allder has said was the original bid by East Coast Construction of Portsmouth for site preparation work, and $52,691 bid by Rossi Electric of Cranston for electrical work to the site.
It also includes $647,883 for the modular classrooms themselves, fire alarms ($35,904), temporary water ($69,117), and “tele-data” ($33,000), school officials say.
Neither the contract with East Coast nor the contract with Rossi had previously appeared on on a school committee agenda for action
Accordingly, a special meeting of the school committee was called to take place Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 8 a.m. in the Wilbur & McMahon principal’s office, to “vote to accept East Coast Construction as the successful bidder for site and related work on the portable classrooms.”
The special meeting notice was filed with the Secretary of State’s Office on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 5:20 p.m.
It is not clear whether the $52,691 contract with Rossi is considered to be part of the contract with East Coast,but its approval was not noted on the agenda.
Mr. Allder, who has been, and appears to continue to be after the elections, the chairman of the school building committee, said the first visible signs of work on the site will be “stakes in the ground, marking out where the temporary buildings will be going. The goal is to get that site prepped.”