Montclair council school repairs
Watchung Field is seen here in August 2018 following a heavy rainstorm. The township council approved a $4.8 million bond for school repair projects, including repair work at the field. PHOTO BY ANDREW GARDA/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

Montclair’s township council has given its approval to a $4.8 million bond for capital projects in the schools.

The projects were approved by the Board of School Estimate on Jan. 15, and the bond was handed off to the council. The council unanimously approved the bond on Jan. 22.

The bond ordinance covers 29 individual projects at each of the district’s 11 schools, plus the Pre-K building on Valley Road and two athletic fields. The total cost of the bond – including the actual project costs, plus additional expenses – is $4,859,950.

The district’s architects of record, Parette Somjen, put together a long list of recommended capital projects in November 2017, as the district sought to address maintenance projects that had been long delayed because of lack of funding.

The capital projects list included a separate priority list of projects that should be done sooner rather than later for health and safety reasons.

All of the projects mentioned in the bond ordinance had been listed in the priority list.

The highest cost project on the list is the replacement of the turf surface at Watchung Field, with an anticipated total cost of $1.3 million. The next costly is the repair of the cornice at Buzz Aldrin School, with an anticipated cost of $451,250, followed by masonry repairs at Nishuane at $303,600.

District-wide, there will be $550,000 in security upgrades. The district has discussed possible upgrades such as new security cameras and a new master key system. On the priority list, each school is to receive new lockdown hardware for the doors.

Elementary schools

Charles H. Bullock School, as the newest of Montclair’s seven elementary schools, has only one project mentioned on the list, which is the shading of the school’s outside play area at a cost of $110,050.

Bradford, Edgemont, Hillside, Nishuane and Northeast are all slated to receive repairs to masonry and concrete, ranging from $49,000 for the concrete repair at Edgemont to the $303,600 in masonry repairs at Nishuane.

Watchung is to receive a replacement chair lift, with an anticipated cost of $52,700.

Middle schools

Renaissance has only one slated project, the completion of a retaining wall, which is expected to cost $85,000.

At Buzz Aldrin Middle School, in addition to the cornice repair, the work will include repairs to the east parking lot and to the front steps. At Glenfield, there are three scheduled repairs: an overhauled air ventilation system in the kitchen, the refinishing of the gym floor, and the replacement of the cupola on the school’s roof. The kitchen air system is expected to cost $170,000.

Montclair High School

Montclair High School’s most expensive project will be the replacement of a stair fire door, at an expected cost of $195,500. The school also will get a replacement elevator cab, costing $122,000, and repairs to masonry, costing $74,500.

At the George Inness Annex, the rear stair at the gym will be replaced, with an anticipated cost of $125,000, and there will also be masonry repairs done.

Administrative building and athletic fields

The heating plant on Valley Road will need to have its bunker structure overhauled at a cost of $153,800.

For the Pre-K, there will need to be repairs to water damage on the ground floor, and new playground equipment. The water damage is expected to cost $45,900, and the playground equipment is expected to cost $105,400.

The Montclair Community Pre-K has also been fundraising to have a new playground installed.

The athletic field at Renaissance is to be reconditioned with an anticipated cost of $111,000.