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Price Spikes on Westford's School Window Project

According to the Lowell Sun, the project may now cost $4.5 million.

Westford school officials said a cost increase occurred for a window replacement project.
Westford school officials said a cost increase occurred for a window replacement project.
Westford school officials said recently that because of inflation and other reasons, the cost of the Norman E. Day School and Col. John Robinson School window replacement projects will likely be doubled.

According to a report in the Lowell Sun, during a Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee meeting last week, officials said that in total the project could cost upwards of $4.5 million.

Westford was granted partial reimbursement for the project by the Massachusetts School Building Authority, with the condition that the work be completed by 18 months from June 2013. However, The Sun reported that the construction may have to be pushed back until 2015.

Click here to read the Lowell Sun report in its entirety. 
Prometheus January 30, 2014 at 09:54 AM
Inflation? What is that? Is it possible that debt spending is in fact not good for an economy, is it possible the Pelosi was wrong?
Steven Sadowski January 30, 2014 at 02:11 PM
Privatize the schools!
joseph mcgruff January 30, 2014 at 02:22 PM
What contractors do when construction jobs are lacking is raise the costs of the ones they get. Add in that it is a town contract and its feeding time...its like booking a tent or catering for a wedding, once they find out its a wedding costs go up 20-30% easy. And towns or the BOS are too scared to call their bluff. For some reason towns think they are bound to these contracts, when anything above and beyond what has been legally agreed to, negotiated and agreed to is reason to void any contract. Measure twice, cut once! It is the Cameron Senior Taj Mahal all over again! Only In Westford!
Steven Sadowski January 30, 2014 at 02:34 PM
Joe. I still get school posts from Hanson and they're building a Taj of their own or at least trying to. All govt is seen as a money trough.
Sam January 30, 2014 at 02:37 PM
That is on the town not the contractors. Unless the scope changes the costs are coming down. A contractor may look for areas that were not accounted for in the bid documents and that is up to the designer to minimize that. Many contractors are talking jobs at cost just to keep their employees busy. If you bid a job + 10% you lose! That is a fact. This job has not been bid yet. If the town is pathetic enough (like they were with the Stony Brook ledge issue - to the tune of a million dollars) that is on our friends and neighbors who are on these boards. There you had a design with boring logs etc and when the contractor hit ledge and threw his hands in the air, instead of telling the contractor to get it done or default we bailed him out. The Senior Center was nothing more than greed. Get the project started and then hit the town with the extras, similar to what is happening here. Sounds like Snidley Whiplash is at it again but I have been assured there is none of that here in Westford.
joseph mcgruff January 30, 2014 at 02:59 PM
Even though the town is now claiming the costs will go up Sam? If you bid a job + 10% and you lose you are an idiot (not you Sam, but the contractor, no offense). For the sake of simplicity, when I submit an estimate or quote to say install hardwood floors into a 2000 sq ft area/home for $20,000 and it is agreed to, I, myself, am not doing that job, I can easily go out and get a smaller company to install the same floor for $10-12k, and guess who keeps the $8k as profit? Add 10%, make is a $22K job and pocket $10K sounds good to me, I could risk a homeowner biting back, getting new estimates, but I KNOW a town will NEVER push back so why not...add on 20, 30 or 50%!!! Only in Westford! Cameron Senior Taj Mahal started (and voted down at 1M) but finally voted in @ $6M? Sounds like Westford could use an audit...as well as those 'friends' who sent out the 'Vote For' Senior center postcards.
Sam January 30, 2014 at 03:11 PM
You are missing my point. In your senario his cost is not $20K but what he could sub it out at which was 12K so add 10% and he would bid 13.2K. Not 20K. If he did bid 20K he would never get the job because there would be 10 other guys bidding at 13K. The costs went up because the scope changed, or because the design engineer estimated this way to low (in my opinion to get it through TM) not because the job was on hold for a year or so and contractors prices were raised. I do this for a living.
joseph mcgruff January 30, 2014 at 03:24 PM
Right, but these massive town projects only get a handful of bids, the 10 other guys never come into play really. Its not a lawn cutting or snow plowing contract at my house where there are 100 guys and college kids with a lawnmower or plow. Since when do you not factor in your profit to a bid? I certainly do. If a contractor bids a job low that is on them IMO, and the town should hold strong to the agreement otherwise move on and rebid. What is the rush here, they are already talking about 2015 for some reason so the windows can't THAT bad!
Sam January 30, 2014 at 03:44 PM
Yikes. Am I not explaining this clearly enough. The profit is the 10%. That is it! A handful of contractors is enough trust me. I don't deal with lawns or plowing. I deal with $50-100 Million dollar projects. You are correct that if a contractor bids that low it is on them. They should live with it. Unlike what happened with Stony Brook, where officials caved in. The problem is all the town had was a estimate based on the design engineer when they went to TM. Not a bid! Now that time has passed they are pulling the old oops it's going to be more flim flam and now the updated project will be put out to bid. The rush I believe was tied to the funding from the state they we were eligible for.
Prometheus January 30, 2014 at 03:47 PM
Another example of loss of freedom and being beholden to the State. And why do the windows at all.....haven't you heard of global warming/climate change?
Nick Caraway January 30, 2014 at 04:46 PM
Proposition override here we come, good thing Vincent d is going to lead the crusade against it
Sam January 30, 2014 at 04:52 PM
Good to have the hopeless teachers chiming in again. Ain't gonna happen. Just like the step increases.
Steven Sadowski January 30, 2014 at 05:32 PM
Hey did you hear about that private company that just renovated their entire headquarters? Yeah me neither. If only there was a way our schools.....
Westford Insider January 30, 2014 at 05:34 PM
No I think David Keele and Bill Olsen are going to play big daddy Santa Claus this time an round and reach way into your wallets for teachers, my neighbor has been saying teachers are hearing the contract being negotiated is very generous and fat payoffs are on the way which ius why prop override probably is going to come to fruition
Westford Insider January 30, 2014 at 05:35 PM
He was told teachers were told the school committee regrets taking a hard stance last time and learned its lesson , holla
Sam January 30, 2014 at 06:08 PM
Hooray, raises for the deserving and undeserving. There will be no override so say goodbye to some of your coworkers and larger class sizes. Holla
Westford Insider January 30, 2014 at 06:37 PM
Say goodbye to Hollywood, say goodbye my baby, life is a series of hellos and goodbyes I'm afraid its time for goodbye again...
Vincent DiRico January 30, 2014 at 10:03 PM
Keep up the buffoonery and it'll be a piece of cake!
Westford Insider January 31, 2014 at 05:41 AM
Queen of hearts is going to push for the override hard from what I am hearing and the McMansion blowins follow like sheep, better organize the opposition carefully then the diverse element of Westford demographic inclined to be YES votes Vincent
Sam January 31, 2014 at 06:50 AM
Let's deal with facts not from "what I hear" which on this patch is widely used. These folks in the larger homes do not want their taxes raised, this goes for the folks in more modest homes. And WI the taxes from your hated McMansions pays for your sacred teachers just as much and even more than most. Especially after the most recent money grab assessments. The town cries poor every year but somehow manages to raise budgets and spend wildly. As for the queen of hearts. I wish someone would oppose her for moderator. Her time here should be over. If you knew half of things that go on you and most folks would be amazed. Good luck with the override as they attempt to cry poor yet ask for 4 million here and 4 million there. What a joke.
Vincent DiRico January 31, 2014 at 07:49 AM
More buffoonery. ---> "fat payoffs": the proposed school budget is +5%, wow you must have some Einstein in you. ---> "He was told teachers were told" ... I bet your cat also whispers to you. ---> "school committee regrets taking a hard stance last time and learned its lesson" ... really, I thought the lawsuits were going to teach that lesson? ---> If I were you I would keep my ear close to kitty's mouth. Once the override is cooked into the budget process (IF it is even proposed) and then fails; the pain will beeeee well painful. Priceless!
Pellegrino Westford January 31, 2014 at 10:21 AM
What took so long for this problem to rear its ugly head? Keele pushed for $500k elevator at Abbot. Ross wants a new for station. What price? Olson keeps asking for more in the school budget. He asked for 14 special Ed two years ago. This was a temp solution. Are these now perm. The Community Preservation Fund. monies appear to not trackable since the 3.5% inception in 2001. A board member resigned. Olson needs to pay for windows from his budget. Town pays for haz material remediation. Pet projects need to stop. An audit appears to be needed. There is enough cash. Look at our tax bills. Can't keep taking from the same well!!! Bob
Sam January 31, 2014 at 12:06 PM
Well said Bob!
Dan D. January 31, 2014 at 12:49 PM
$4.5 Million!?!?! Cost doubled!?!?!? This sounds crazy! Buy plastic and tape it on the windows.
Sam January 31, 2014 at 01:22 PM
The kicker is that in about 5-7 years they will be saying that these two schools are old and need to be replaced. You know that is coming!
joseph mcgruff January 31, 2014 at 01:51 PM
Call Rite Window, Right Now! Only $389 installed!
Nick Caraway January 31, 2014 at 03:40 PM
Maybe open some pot dispensaries in town so we can afford to not go down the prop 2.5 override path, otherwise they are going to reach further into our wallets weather we like it or not for expensive pet projects, New windows at Abbott?! There are classrooms or nearly 30 kids packed into those small classrooms but the windows is where the money is spent....when is the redistrict drum gonna get louder?
Steven Sadowski February 02, 2014 at 06:57 PM
Did you hear about that private company that needed a new building for their headquarters, so the town had to build it for them? Yeah, me neither.
Nick Caraway February 02, 2014 at 07:10 PM
What's a few million between friends in a wealthy "W Town"?
Vincent DiRico February 02, 2014 at 08:32 PM
Hmm, the diff is ZEROs or something greater than zero, been there done that, keep up the buffoonery!

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