BENNINGTON >> The Southwest Vermont Career Development Center is moving ahead with some building improvements.
"This year is the year we're beginning replacement of certain sections of the roof," said board chairman Jim Boutin, "We budgeted for that, we anticipated it. There were four bids, from the RFP that was published." The project will replace 5,100 square feet over the forestry classroom. The board had budgeted $86,000 for the project, from the reserve fund. The lowest bid, from Titan Roofing, which has offices in Albany and Springfield, came in considerably below that, at $44,000. This would allow the board to potentially do another section of roof this summer, and shave off as much as a year of what was expected to be a five year project. This first section of roof was replaced before the start of this school year.
"We definitely need that section of the roof repaired this year," said Boutin, "It's leaking really badly. I think we should move forward with the lowest bid that was presented tonight, and then put out another RFP for another section of the roof. If we have funding available from this year, we can proceed, and possibly get both sections done this year."
There was some concern from the board about coordinating their roofing project with another project that will be happening at Mount Anthony Union High School, which the CDC shares a building with over the summer. The board voted to give Boutin the authority to accept the lowest bid, pending the working out of those details. They also agreed to send out an RFP for a second section of roof, so that they can look at bids at their June meeting.
The board also looked at bids related to security upgrades to the CDC part of the building. "That involves the doors, they're going to put new types of locks on the doors, similar to what's at Mount Anthony Union Middle School, so you need that fab to get through the door," said Boutin, "and there's some work with closing in the entryway out here so that people can't just walk in off the street and have access to the main office right away, they're going to have to be buzzed in." There were two bidders for that project with the lowest coming in at about $14,780, from The Royal Group Inc. out of Rutland.
Again, board member Leon Johnson, who also serves on the MAU board, said he was uncomfortable making a decision without hearing what MAU was doing in terms of their own security upgrades over the summer, so as to ensure that the two systems are compatible. "We need to do a little bit more, when the buildings are joined at the hip, to know what's going on," he said. Ed Letourneau, who also serves on the MAU board, agreed.
"I'd recommend you give the facilities committee the go-ahead to move forward on these projects," said Boutin, "We don't want to hold them up. This is a safety issue, the last thing we want to do is drag it out so that we have to wait until next year to do it. The safety of the students is now in jeopardy. Let's get this completed, that's my concern." He said that it was important to have full cooperation and understanding with MAU. The board moved that the project be turned over to the executive committee who would meet with the building and grounds director, and make sure the project moves forward smoothly.
The Career Development Center Board meets the third Monday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the conference room at the CDC. Full recordings of their meetings are available on Catamount Access Television, and on the station's YouTube page.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.