Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lodi School Board Delays Vote on New Building

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lodi School Board Delays Vote on New Building

Article excerpt

LODI -- The school board this week suspended a motion to approve $6 million contract to demolish its 121-year-old administration building and replace it with a new one amid confusion over the project's cost.

The existing administration building at 8 Hunter St. -- a former elementary school -- currently houses 24 employees, including the school board offices, the superintendent's office and the district's Child Study Team, whose members evaluate and support students who may need special attention for behavioral or academic challenges.

"Children are not housed in the building, but there are many meetings with students," Superintendent Frank Quatrone said. "It's a busy and very active building."

The board originally approved a $7.5 million plan to demolish the building and construct a new one in September. The money is being allocated from the district's capital reserve account and will not result in a property tax increase, according to Quatrone.

The decision to build a new building followed a structural assessment by an engineer. Due to "the lack of any professional guarantee of the long-term safety of the building occupants, a decision was made to build a new facility after considering cost and other factors related to the structural integrity of the building," Quatrone said.

However, at the board's meeting on Wednesday, Robert Marra made a motion to table a resolution to approve a $6 million bid from Vanas Construction Co. of Bogota, saying he was concerned about the $1.5 million difference between the proposed contract and the amount the district had set aside for the project. A resolution to table the approval at the Dec. 21 of a $6,053,500 bid from Bogota-based Vanas Construction Company was made by board member Robert Marra, who said he was concerned over the million dollar difference and wanted to look into it further. …

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