Hannibal school district awards contracts for capital project

HCSD officials approved the timeline for phase one of the district's $42 million capital peroject, with will commence this year with the construction of (clockwise from top left) a new bus terminal, reinforced rooting and additions to the schools' athletic fields. 

HANNIBAL — School district officials in Hannibal have awarded the first contracts for the district’s $42 million capital project, expecting to commence phase one this summer with the construction of a new bus terminal.

During a five-minute special meeting last week, the Hannibal Central School District Board of Education eagerly approved the project timeline for a five-year plan to renovate the district’s three schools.

With the guidance of LeChase Construction Services and King and King Architects — the same firm hired by Fulton City School District for its own capital project — board members named seven upstate firms tasked with implementing phase one of the project: building a new bus terminal, reinforcing buildings with new roofing, and carrying out site work on the athletic grounds.

“This district is headed in a great direction when you look at our test scores and attendance and things like that,” Board President Michael LaFurney said. “Everything that’s going on in this district is positive, and this is just going to add to it.”

Phase one of the capital project will cost the district a total of $17.6 million, roughly 40 percent of the total cost.

The two-phase, five-year capital project is a comprehensive renovation of the district’s facilities and infrastructure, with no tax increase on Hannibal residents as most of the funds come from the state, according to Superintendent Chris Staats.

The remaining 2 percent — roughly $840,000 — will be covered by a reserve fund accumulated for the capital project.

Staats made good on a competitive vision for his district’s large-scale renovation by timing the approval process at the “ideal time” to beat surrounding districts also soliciting bids for capital projects.

This meant circumventing the state Education Department’s bureaucratic approval process. At any given time, Staats said, the Education Department is reviewing 700 proposals, which can stall new submissions for up to 12 months.

By dividing the project into two distinct phases based on feasibility, Staats planned for the Education Department to approve the capital project faster than if he submitted one massive $42 million proposal.

Staats also made use of his coordination with CiTi BOCES, whose staff optimized the capital project proposal so it would to fly through the state’s approval process, he said. This allowed the district to stay ahead of the oncoming rush for construction firms, “the perfect timing,” as competing school districts in the region will also be contracting firms for their capital projects.

“We are pleased with the expedited process provided through CiTi BOCES, which enabled us to go out to bid at the ideal time,” Nancy Dingman, district business official, said in a news release from CiTi BOCES. “The third-party review cut the time for approval by nearly half.”

From most to least expensive, a $5.4 million roofing contract was awarded to Titan Roofing of Clinton; $4.3 million went to Robert H. Law, Inc., of East Syracuse, for site work; $3.6 million was awarded to RJ Ortlieb, Inc., of Baldwinsville, for general construction; $1.8 million for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning work will go to C&S Technical Resources of Syracuse; the $895,900 contract for new electric infrastructure went to Knapp Electric of Fulton; the $855,254 plumbing contract was awarded to Siracusa Mechanical of Auburn; and the $723,860 task of “masonry restoration” went to Lupini Construction of Utica.

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