Edward Walkiewicz, secretary and administrator for the school board, said the final plans for the expansion of the high school/middle school complex and other major improvements are being drawn up in order to submit them to the state Department of Education for final approval.
Board President Ed Rittberg called the approval process the hardest part in getting the project started.
"We anticipate going out to bid in May," Walkiewicz said. "We are now in the process of creating all the final specifications and will go out to bid as soon as they get approval."
While he said most of the major work will likely start on July 1, the schools could move ahead with replacing some windows and putting down new roofing before schools let out.
Rittberg said work on roofs, windows and tennis courts could start as early as April, because these would not interfere with classes.
"We might be able to do the windows at Clarendon and Huber Street schools before the end of the year," he said. "This is not a difficult project. In some cases, they might even be installed in one night."
The interior work which must be done while school is not in session includes new classrooms, science labs, roofs, windows, and doors, and a boiler for the Clarendon School. Nearly everything except for the science labs is expected to be complete by opening day of school in September, 2003.
At its Jan. 16 meeting, the board put out legal notices that would move the projects ahead.
"There are certain things we have to do," Rittberg said, during a telephone interview. "Although we rehired many of the same people that we used for expanding our elementary schools."
Rittberg said the sale of $10 million in bonds has been completed, and because the school is seeking to pay back the money in 15 years instead of 20, the school district saved $2 million. This is in addition to the $4 million rebate the district expects to collect from the state. Voters in September approved a $14 million bonding that would expand the schools and construct a 1,000 seat auditorium.
In gearing up for the project, however, the school board over the last few months hired the professionals necessary to make the project possible. The board engaged Faridy Veisz Fraytak as its architecture firm at $887,000, Vincent Thompson Mead Inc. at $180,600 for construction management services, and Siteworks Consulting at $27,775 for surveyor services.