Wellington School Building Committee members Joseph Barrell and Mike Healy met with the to provide a project and financial update.
“I’m grateful to be part of this,” said Barrell in reference to the smooth opening of the school and how well the construction schedule has run.
“There are a lot of loose ends we need to accomplish but it’s happening,” he said, explaining that the modular units at Belmont High School are scheduled to be demolished and removed before it snows; the contractor is still finishing landscape work on the east side of Orchard Street; and that work continues on the roof screen and the two entrances.
“We still meet with the contractor every Monday afternoon to review the work he is doing that week,” said Healy.
“We have a litany of things that need to be fine-tuned but that list will diminish in time.”
Hopefully, Healy and Barrel said, everything will be completely finished before Thanksgiving.
The last time he and Barrell came before the selectmen it was to discuss whether or not the Wellington would open in time for the start of the school year, Healy pointed out.
“The committee deserves tremendous gratitude on the work it has done,” said Selectman Angelo Firenze. “We are very lucky to have gotten to the point we’re at.”
As for financials, Barrell and Healy said the budget for the project as of March 2009 was $40 million but the committee got it down to $39 million.
To date, the committee has paid a total – including hard and soft costs – of $32 million and anticipates spending another $7 million.
The projected final cost is $39.7 million and it looks, at this point, that there may be at least $400,000 left over which, after the committee is dissolved, will go back to the town to be allocated toward other projects.
“The Building Committee has been working night and day and we appreciate that,” said Paolillo.
Warrant to open for Special Town Meeting
The selectmen also unanimously approved opening the warrant for Special Town Meeting in January. The warrant opens on Wednesday, Oct. 19 and will close on Friday, Nov. 4.
There will be a notification on the town website about the process residents must take to have articles on the warrant.
Cub Scouts get lesson in government
Cub Scout Troop 377 attended the Selectmen's meeting as part of its civics education. Before Chairman Ralph Jones called it to order, the boys – who will soon graduate to Boy Scout status – meet with Selectmen Vice Chairman Mark Paolillo who spoke to them about how town government works and showed them pictures on former selectmen from as far back as the 1800s and let them sit in the board members' chairs.
The scouts asked a number of questions, including if the selectmen were in charge of Belmont schools and if Paolillo was nervous the first time he was televised during a meeting.