1. Why are renovations needed immediately at PCMS?
The June 5, 2018 PCMS Bond Project focuses on restoring Port Chester Middle School. On October 26, 2017 mountings for a 4,500-pound concrete cantilever panel failed at Port Chester Middle School. As the panel fell to the ground it damaged a classroom’s windows. As there are nearly 90 of these panels attached to the building, we immediately developed and instituted a plan to keep our students and staff safe, which included closing PCMS for six days to replace the broken windows, install extensive multi-story scaffolding to support the existing panels, and install entry door protections and fencing.
2. How much state aid is available for this Bond Project to repair PCMS?
95% of our total costs are eligible for reimbursement at a rate of 68.4% from New York State.
3. How much will this project cost me?
The cost to Port Chester taxpayers would be $8.74 per $100,000 of assessed residential property value. For example, for a home assessed at $500,000, the annual cost would be $43.70.
4. Why not take $11.025 million dollars from the 2017 voter approved bond project?
If we take that route, our construction manager and architects estimate a loss of nearly $6 million from the 2017 bond. This new PCMS Bond Project is the most cost-effective way of completing the PCMS work while both protecting our taxpayers from undue costs and getting maximum value from the 2017 voter approved bond.
5. Why would taking $11.025 million from the 2017 voter approved bond project cost so much?
The 2017 bond was designed to address overcrowding and other needed updates. Repurposing the 2017 bond would reduce its value by nearly $17 million dollars. That is due to escalation costs currently projected at about 5% for each summer that construction is delayed. We have already spent nearly $2 million dollars for plans and designs for the 2017 bond, which have already been submitted and are in review at the State Education Department (SED); repurposing would require redesign and resubmission and SED requires at least six months to approve any new plans. Repurposing the current bond would also need voter approval, thus further delaying the process, and increasing costs that reduce the value of the 2017 bond.
6. What emergency measures have been and are currently being taken at PCMS?
Our crews installed vertical supports and scaffolding to shore up the nearly 90 concrete cantilever panels and anchor them to the building. Since cantilevers are also installed over exterior entry doors, crews constructed safety coverings at those locations as well. We also installed fences to keep our school community at a safe distance from the construction areas.
7. Why not keep the scaffolding and safety coverings over the PCMS entrances, either for a few years or on a permanent basis?
We are charged rental fees that cost about $30,000 monthly due to the high cost of liability insurance protection incurred by the construction company that installed them. The construction company inspects and maintains them until they are removed from our campus.
8. What has been done to ensure that the emergency supports are safe?
As this project most importantly involves the safety and well-being of our children and staff, we demand the highest quality architectural and engineering design and construction work. We also work with the New York State Education Department to ensure strict compliance with their engineering and safety specifications.