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Despite capital project, St. Lawrence Central ready to open on Thursday

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BRASHER FALLS — It’s two steps forward and three steps back for St. Lawrence Central School’s capital project, according to Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr.

But, he told board of education members last week, that shouldn’t prevent school from opening on time Thursday. Staff members will return to school today.

“We’ve been assured by the contractors. They understand the parameters clearly, I think, of what they need to do,” Mr. Vigliotti said.

District taxpayers in December 2011 approved an $8.2 million capital project that would allow the district to convert from heating oil to natural gas once St. Lawrence Gas passed by the district during its expansion into Franklin County.

That will allow the district to make the conversion to natural gas and save money. It also plans to convert from steam to hot water, which also will save money. The steam line and heating units date back to the 1950s.

Contracts were awarded in April to Meridian Construction Corporation for general work, Black River Plumbing & Heating for mechanical work, S&L Electric Inc. for electric work and Burns Brothers Inc. for plumbing work.

As part of their work, contractors have removed ceiling tiles throughout the middle and high school hallways and classrooms, and some of those tiles still may be out when school begins. “All the ceilings in the classes will be completed. There will be corridor ceilings not in place,” Mr. Vigliotti said.

Fred H. McLaughlin, director of transportation, buildings and grounds, said there may be a couple of rooms in the high school’s language area that will not have ceilings up by the time school begins.

While the work continues on the project, Mr. McLaughlin said, natural gas will not be available when school begins.

However, he said, it is set to go with hot water. “We have a contingency for showers. We’ll have that in place for both buildings,” he said.

Contractors are also still dealing with asbestos abatement in the elementary school basement, he said.

Mr. Vigliotti said that because of lead and asbestos abatement, the district has about $20,000 remaining for the project.

He said he has met with representatives from Fiscal Advisors and SEI Design Group, the district’s architectural firm, to talk about those numbers.

“As it stands right now, we don’t have to cut anything,” he said. “There are a couple of opportunities to increase that $20,000 by not doing some things we had planned on getting done.”

A separate $375,000 project approved by voters in April to improve security at both of the district’s buildings will be partially completed when school opens, he said. Work began last week at the elementary school.

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