Greenwich High entrance redesign project reviews cuts



GREENWICH — Since receipt of the offers which have been $1.3 million above budget, the construction committee for the Greenwich High School lobby project met seven times in an effort to align costs.

Committee members attempted to value the design with their architects at Silver Petrucelli and Associates and formed four different options.

In a meeting Wednesday morning, architect David Stein reviewed four designs for the improved GHS vestibule, which he estimated would cost between $2,087,121 and $2,660,119 to build.

The committee focused on a new option presented by Stein, derived from another example, which he dubbed “1A”. He estimated its cost at around $2.37 million.

These numbers are closer to the construction budget of $2.75 million. The committee exhausted its architectural and engineering funds by commissioning the original design, so the current architectural work draws construction funds.

The committee also hopes to have a 20% contingency fund. Stein’s goal was to design an entry costing between $1.8 and $2 million.

The 1A design would feature a ballistic glass exterior reminiscent of the design proposed in July. But it’s pushed further back – away from the street – leading to a smaller area of ​​space.

“Our goal has been to reduce square footage. We knew the best way to try to size this budget properly is to really find the middle ground in the size of the space, but big enough to make sure it works functionally,” Stein said.

Under Option 1A, the GHS vestibule would narrow into the hallway to the north, and a set of locked doors would lead to the administrative offices to the south. Bookend glass would be a section of panels made to look like the wood that adorns high school hallways.

The series of locked doors would create a “two-step process” for entering the school’s main building and mingling with students, Stein said.

Heating and cooling would not require a large unit, he said. Two small units on either side of the vestibule could heat and cool the reduced vestibule.

Members of the building committee wondered if there was a way to further reduce entry while adhering to state safety guidelines and expectations set by the Board of Education.

Stein told them the square footage was at a minimum to accommodate the number of doors required.

Committee members, hoping to stay within budget, scoured the rows of the spreadsheet looking for other ways to save money.

Committee chairman Steve Walko remarked that window prices seemed inconsistent with the amount of glass in each design. Stein said he tested several cost-per-square-foot estimates for glass and roofing.

He said he would adjust the spreadsheet with consistent pricing before the next meeting.

Members also looked at landscaping, which was estimated to cost between $350,000 and $400,000. The initial scope of the project, which set the budget at $2.7 million, did not include landscaping.

The high school neighbors asked more trees to be added to the site, and the planning and zoning department echoed their wish.

“All the cost cutting and pencil sharpening has been on the construction side. We haven’t touched the landscaping of things,” Walko said.

He noted that P&Z talks about the importance of landscaping at the new entrance to Greenwich High.

The group agreed to meet in a week with refined cost estimates. Then they would decide what to recommend to the Board of Education and whether to ask for more money.

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