Rec center renovations: Selectmen told scope of damage is uncertain

Repairing water damage inside the walls of locker rooms at the rec center will be a step-by-step process, with several potential contractors working on the project.

That’s the message the Board of Selectmen heard at its June 21 meeting.

“We believe with the construction manager will be bidding out each piece of it,” the Parks and Recreation Chairman Phil Kearns told the selectmen.

“Instead of bidding out the whole project in one lump sum and having add-ons and add-ons for everything that we find as we go along — that’s worse and no refunds.”

In May, voters approved $950,000 in renovation costs.

Peter Coffin from Doyle Coffin Architecture said there’s a possibility the project comes in under the allotted budget, but that there’s no way to know for sure yet.

He agreed with Kearns’ evaluation that the town should hire a construction manager to handle the complex bidding process.

“There are a lot of unknowns here — and even those numbers that we put together a bit, those are based on very few points of being able to see behind the walls and know exactly what’s going on,” he said.

“Until we have something like that, we can’t fine tune those numbers and we’re hoping that we can tailor this project to get the quality of what parks and rec is looking for.”

Coffin assured the selectmen that no additional funding required would come as a surprise later on in the project.

“I don’t think we would carry this all the way through and then come back to you and say we’ve spent all this money, now we need another half a million,” said Coffin.

“We need to find that out much earlier in the process.”

During the coming summer months, design documents will be developed, Coffin said. The bidding process for contractors will begin in September.

“I want to say thank you,” said First Selectman Rudy Marconi.

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.”