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New EPHS project makes steady, scheduled progress

Work moves along both outside and in on the $189.5 million effort

By Mike Rego
Posted 9/21/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The more things change, the more they stay the same, which is a good thing in this particular instance as it pertains to the on-going construction of the new East Providence …

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Please support local news coverage –

Donate Here

New EPHS project makes steady, scheduled progress

Work moves along both outside and in on the $189.5 million effort

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The more things change, the more they stay the same, which is a good thing in this particular instance as it pertains to the on-going construction of the new East Providence High School main building and associated structures.

The building committee sitting in oversight of the effort held its latest meeting Monday evening, Sept. 14.

As always, Sam Bradner, of the Peregine Group serving as the district’s Owner Project Manager, led the contingent through a roughly one hour status update.

Mr. Bradner said one of the last remaining hurdles to completing the basic needs of the project, getting the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to sign off on the necessary redesign of ingress and egress points for the new building on the state-owned Pawtucket Avenue, is “rounding the corner.” He said a survey of the area “has been a sticking point,” but is expected to soon meet RIDOT requirements.

Review process
Mr. Bradner said throughout the duration of the project, contractors have been in constant contact with regulators overseeing construction, including local officials.

He said the communication with city representatives, most recently introducing new East Providence Fire Marshal Captain Brian Poland into the process, has helped keep the project on track.

Mr. Bradner added, “The more we engage the city team officials, the better it is for everybody and it helps us get to the finish line at the end of the project.”

Milestones
As he does monthly, Mr. Bradner told the committee of the milestones being or about to be reached.

Currently, window glazing and the rooftop installation of the main HVAC unit are set for this month.

Actual running of the rooftop unit is scheduled for January 2021 followed by millwork/casework in February of next year.

Contingency funds
Contingency funds, or set-asides for potential necessities, remain steady with sizable balances, Mr. Bradner said, including $1 million for COVID-19 related expenses.

Though no formal pandemic-related change orders have been received to date, he said some documentation is likely to be presented to the project manager and committee for its consideration in the near term.

Added Erik Andrutis, also of Peregrine, members of the construction crew have been tested for COVID-19, but zero positive results have been reported back to the manager. He said protocols and procedures in place have been working according to plan.

Construction notes
Mr. Bradner said significant site work continues around the new high school ground, including underground preparation for the athletic stadium.

Also, the halftime building adjacent to the stadium is coming into form.

Mr. Bradner said the “enveloping” of the exterior, both with insulating and finishing materials, is proceeding along as scheduled.

Inside, drywall continues to be put up and even some primer painting has already been applied.
As well, in-wall plumbing and HVAC ductwork has been installed.

He continued, the temporary sealing of the exterior, like plastic window coverings, moves ahead as contractor Gilbane prepares for temperature sensitive interior work to be done in the colder, winter months.

Safety
With students now back to in-person instruction, safety concerns were discussed.

District Facilities and Safety Director Tony Feola said he was particularly interested during lunch time as students went to and from the Career and Tech Center to the main building to eat.

Mr. Andrutis said any potential problems have been alleviated so far by closing of gate at that side of the property and by Gilbane mandating personnel stay within the confines of new EPHS footprint during the timeframe.

Classrooms
The central administration has been working with staff and architects Ai3 on how the new classrooms will be outfitted.

Superintendent Kathryn Crowley said she expected shortly to provide the architects with preliminary requests for such things as desks, equipment, paint schemes, etc.

Jim Jordan, of Ai3, said the process was still in progress with a plan of meeting the first week of October to compile a budget for the equipment and furniture then readying the items to be put out to bid.

Next meeting
The next meeting of the new EPHS Building Committee will be held Monday, Oct. 12, which is the Columbus Day holiday, at 6 p.m.

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