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NISKAYUNA: School roof tops agenda

Keeping up a rapid fire pace, school officials in Niskayuna are slated to approve a more than $2 million contract for extensive work on the roof at the high school. The contract with WB Roofing and Sheet Metal was expected to sail through to approval at an Aug. 8 school board meeting and is part of the district's wide-ranging $94.5 million renovation program.

I am always a little nervous about discussing specific numbers before they are voted on, but the information I have shows the contract at $2.03 million, school board vice president Jean Sosnow said Tuesday, Aug. 7. "This is a little under our anticipated budget and within the schedule we had set for the project.

"I think that says a lot about the team we have working on this and the quality of the work they've been doing," Sosnow added. "Our architect and our construction manager have done an excellent job of keeping on top of the renovations, making sure that the budget anticipated the possible impact of rising construction material costs and that we stay on schedule. They have done their homework and the district is really benefiting from that."

Awarding this contract comes just two weeks after the school board's July 25 approval of $23 million to hire a series of construction companies for wide-ranging work on several elementary schools and the high school. Those contracts also came in below the anticipated budget and the savings is being put into additional amenities at the high school, according to Assistant Superintendent for Business Matthew Bourgeois.

While the school system was putting the finishing touches on its most recent construction contracts, Niskayuna town officials spent Monday forwarding tax records to the district so that this year's exact school tax increase could be calculated.

"There are several steps involved in the process," said Town Assessor Amy Houlihan, "but it starts with my office sending our data to the district.

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