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Kos expresses concern on former Chicopee High middle school conversion

Date: 6/6/2014

By G. Michael Dobbs

CHICOPEE – Mayor Richard Kos still has some concerns about the cost of converting the former Chicopee High School into a middle school, but is pleased the winning bid came in as low as it did.
On June 3, Kos accepted the bid of Fontaine Brothers Inc. to complete the project.  The company’s bid was nearly $31.5 million.
Kos noted to Reminder Publications that new windows, waterproofing and paving will cost the city $710,000 that is not covered by funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).
“It should have been built in,” Kos said of the cited improvements.
Work is to start this month and be completed in next August. The staff and students of Fairview Veterans Memorial Middle School will be moved to the new school.
City Councilor William Zaskey, the chairman of the renovation building committee, said, “Fontaine is a local and credible company. I’m excited to work with them. We have to give credit to Norm Benjamin, Curtis Edgin, the MSBA and Mayor Kos for being able to accomplish this feat.”
 Kos had questioned the budget and funding amount for the project in March and expressed concerns the estimated $38 million budget of which is 80 percent will be reimbursed by the state was “more a guesstimate instead of a real number.” He was told by MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy the city could not receive any more money from the state and would have to fund the project beyond the limits set in the agreement with the city.