Superintendent: Wellington Will Get OK to Open with Day to Spare
Town still has not signed off on Occupancy Certificate; Kingston says school will open Sept. 7.
Talk about cutting it close!
Despite not having the required Temporary Certificate of Occupancy in its hand, the Belmont School District is moving forward with scheduled plans to open the new $40 million Wellington Elementary School this coming Wednesday, Sept. 7.
While he stated a week ago that approval of the Occupancy Certificate was "very promising," Town Engineer Glenn Clancy did not sign off on the paperwork and inspections the structure will need to welcome nearly 500 students and 80 staff in five days.
The TCO, necessary to open the building for everyday use, is now unlikely to be issued until the day before the official opening, said Belmont Superintendent Thomas Kingston.
"We won't see that until these final pressure tests are performed," said Kingston.
But the new superintendent is confident that "we will have kids and teachers in our new building on Wednesday."
Kingston said the official ribbon cutting will take place at the West Main entrance at 8:35 a.m. on the 7th.
Delays have hampered the project and an anticipated ramping up of work on the site by general contractor Skanska did not bridge the required work needed to obtain the certificate.
But despite the razors-edge time frame the District is working with, Kingston said that this final-second approval process with school construction "is very typical."
"This is nothing unexpected. They usually come down to the wire," said Kingston, who experienced the last minute approval of several school buildings when he opened seven structures in one year running and rebuilding the Chelsea schools in the early 1990s.
"We have a couple of little things that must be done and since we have our systems working, we will be certified on Sept. 6," he said.
"We just need every 'i' dotted and 't' crossed," said Kingston.
While he firmly believes the school will be open Wednesday, Kingston said additional work will be required after the 7th. He said that all construction will be performed after 6 p.m. and that all workers have passed criminal background checks.