The Marlboro School Board was recently made aware of a few building related items that are in need of attention.
It has been known for several years that there is asbestos across the staging area at the Middle School. Rosanne Mele, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Personnel, said during the Vision 2020 project a minimal amount of asbestos was removed to make way for new rigging, curtains and lighting.
However, she asked the board if the district should go, “above and beyond the Vision 2020’s scope” and look to remove the asbestos in the entire ceiling in that area by using the district’s fund balance and budget to pay for it or stick with the minimal reduction that was done during the Vision 2020 project.
Superintendent Michael Brooks explained that this issue came to the forefront during the building project because there is new stage equipment that is waiting to be installed. Brooks said he favors full abatement of the asbestos.
Larry Cavazza, Director of School Facilities, said this is the last plaster ceiling in the Middle School and work to remove the asbestos has to be done in strict accordance with state regulations. He said because of the complexity in dealing with asbestos and the high location, the district is unable to perform this remediation work in-house.
Brooks said the estimate for full abatement ranges from $150,000 to $180,000. “It could be less but I want to project the worst case scenario. Once the abatement company gets in there you’ll get a real sense of the entirety of the job.”
The district also identified issues of decay in the brick facade on the west side of the Middle School that at some point will separate from the main building. Currently there is no imminent danger of collapse and the district is awaiting an engineers report on a solution to fix this problem and the cost involved.
“The building was built in 1939 and has some obvious decay over he years,” Mele said. “We want the board to be poised to take action once we get a recommendation on how to safely and securely fix this issue at the Middle School.” As a precaution the district has fenced off the area immediately underneath this identified area of the brick facade.
On bringing back the swim program, Brooks said the district has made a preliminary submission to build the cost of the program into the federal grant the district already has for the 2021-22 school year.
He anticipated the total cost of the K-12 program this year will be no more than $45,000, “and likely be less than that.” Brooks added that if approved the district will immediately begin implementing the swim program with the Administrative and Physical Education staff. He said if the board chooses to continue the program into the 2022-23 school year, “that would have to be a discussion for the budget when we get into that work this winter.”
The School Board approved full abatement of the asbestos at the Middle School and will also bring back the swim program. The board will decide about fixing the brick facade at the Middle School after receiving the engineering report.
After bids from contractors are received on the asbestos removal, the board will then vote to approve a contract with one of the contractors. Brooks said they will first use any of the un-expended funds from the Vision 2020 project, if there is any remaining, before tapping into the regular budget.